Matt Miazga returns to Nantes lineup after 14-week absence

Matt Miazga played his first game for French club Nantes since late September when he started in the Canaris' 4-1 win over second division Chateauroux in the round of 64 in the French Cup.

Miazga joined Nantes on loan from Chelsea after two seasons at Vitesse in the Netherlands. He immediately broke into the starting lineup, starting eight of his first nine games, but lost his spot after a coaching change.

He went from starting at Nantes, one of France's most storied clubs, to playing for its reserve team following a disastrous Ligue 1 game against Bordeaux in which he was responsible for two first-half goals and picked up a yellow card in his fifth straight match.

That game just happened to be veteran coach Vahid Halilhodzic's first game in charge. After Miazga lost his starting spot, the Canaris got hot and won four games and tied a fifth, climbing out of the Ligue 1 basement.

Several factors went into Halilhodzic's decision to give Miazga another chance. With seven games over the next 23 days, including two Ligue 1 makeup games, he rested most of his starters for the French Cup opener. He also went with three defenders in the back, starting Miazga alongside Nicolas Pallois and Kara Mbodji.

There was speculation that Chelsea would try to break Miazga's loan deal during the January window, but the future of Brazilian Diego Carlos, Nantes' other center back, Mbodji, on loan from Anderlecht, with the Canaris is also up in the air.

Given those circumstances, it is hard to imagine Nantes giving up on Miazga lightly.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications