Guillermo Maripan: The Chilean defender that is London bound
Guillermo Maripan, 26, has only been in Europe for three years but he’s developing all the time and now there are links surfacing that suggest he’s heading to England with multiple clubs interested in securing his signature. The thing is, there are probably a lot of fans that have no idea who Guillermo Maripan is. Here, we intend to give you some answers to that very question.
A champion in Chile
Maripan spent his entire youth career with Primera Division side CD Universidad Catolica of his native Chile. It was there where he made his breakthrough into professional football too when he made his first team bow aged 18 playing the full 90 minutes as part of a back three in a 2-2 draw with Cobresal. It was his only action of the 2011/12 season and game time hardly flooded in after that with his first genuine contribution not coming until the 2014/15 campaign where he played nine games.
His development continued after that with his time on the pitch increasing over the next two years with Maripan playing 54 times – and scoring three goals – as Catolica won back to back championship titles. Maripan’s performances hadn’t gone unnoticed and in January 2017 he made his international debut playing the full 120 minutes in a friendly victory over Croatia, which Chile won on penalties after the match had ended 1-1. Where domestic football was concerned, a move to Europe materialised with Maripan joining La Liga side Alaves in a £2m deal.
Life in Europe
The first season in Europe was one of frustration for Maripan as a managerial change saw him alternating between runs of playing 90 minutes and then being benched for several games on the spin as Alaves finished 14th. The 2018/19 campaign was much better from that perspective for him though as he featured more consistently racking up 25 appearances in all competitions. He also chipped in with two goals and two assists. His time on the grass would have been much higher too but a sprained ankle saw him miss eight of the final nine matches.
Despite the niggling injury at the back end of the campaign, Monaco were not put off and paid out £16m to bring him to Ligue 1. He’s been a regular in their side too with 24 appearances – and another two goals – under his belt before covid-19 caused the season to be binned.
After making his debut at the start of 2017, Maripan missed out on a place in the 2017 Confederations Cup and World Cup qualification squads but the last 24 months have seen him establish himself with the second of his two years in Spain key to his re-selection. He’s now one of the first names on the team sheet. He played in all but 51 minutes at the 2019 Copa America as Chile lost in the third-place play-off against Argentina. Providing he stays fit, there is no reason Maripan won’t be a mainstay of the national side for the foreseeable feature.
Style of play
The modern day centre half is widely perceived as someone who looks to spray possession around and act as the starting point for launching attacks. Maripan is not that. That’s not to say he isn’t comfortable on the ball because he’s capable in possession and can play out from the back, which is backed up with an 88% pass success rate. It’s just not where he excels.
His main attributes are in his defending. He knows when to drop off, he knows when to press and he’ll bite into tackles when it’s safe to do so. During his time in France, Maripan has won 72.4% of his attempted tackles and his aerial prowess is pretty reasonable too with a 56.3% win rate. Simply put he loves defending and he’s good at it too with an average of one block and 3.3 clearances per game. He’s also capable of switching between a three or four man defence.
During the 2019/20 campaign, he’s broken the 150 mark in performance buzz on five occasions with a peak score of 267, which saw him scoop the top defender award for his part in Monaco’s 3-0 win over Amiens in December.
What about a move?
Maripan is only one year into a five year deal but several Premier League clubs are rumoured to be watching him closely. Watford and West Ham are said to be keen but, assuming all teams firm up their interest, Tottenham would appear to be the most attractive destination.
The player won’t be drawn on a particular club but he has spoken of a desire to ply his trade in England so a move could well be on the cards. Given he’s currently priced at £0.45 on the Index, a handsome profit could be on the cards for those who invest. So, Guillermo Maripan, what do you say?