Alejandro Bedoya is headed to France. The American has parlayed a great stint at Helsingsborgs into a move to FC Nantes, where he will get to play in Ligue 1 against PSG, Marseille, Monaco and more excellent teams week in, week out.
A move to Ligue 1 will mark a major step up in competition for Bedoya, who counts a six-month stay with Rangers as the highest level of club soccer he has ever played at. And while Bedoya is in the best form of his life, he will be challenged.
But if the American is going to take on a monster task, he has found the right place to do it. Bryan A. from We Are Number Un says Bedoya should fit in perfectly at Nantes, at a club that has openings out wide, where he has traditionally played, and in the center, where he starred for Helsingsborgs last year.
Alejandro Bedoya's move to FC Nantes is a great move. First of all, Nantes, one of France's most storied clubs, are making their return to Ligue 1 after toiling in Ligue 2 since 2008. Les Canaris are known for playing some great, flowing, attacking football known as jeu à la nantaise. As a result the American attacker will likely have plenty of opportunities to show off his skills in what is typically a more defense-first league. Nantes play either a 4-4-2 diamond or a 4-4-2 with the wingers pushed further up the pitch. Bedoya's versatility will likely allow him to play all across either of these formations.
Bedoya represents a huge upgrade for Nantes over the other players currently playing right wing. Fabrice Pancrate is the current number 7, but the former Newcastle player is 33 and his game is starting to show his age. It will be most interesting to see where he plays when Nantes go to their diamond formation. Youngster Adrien Trebel often played in the whole for Nantes and while he lacks the goal-scoring prowess that Bedoya has showed recently the 22 year-old Frenchman is a bit more creative. I'm not sure which one would be preferred to the other, but chances are Bedoya would get the nod.
In sum, Nantes need good players if they're going to stay up in Ligue 1. Bedoya provides quality at a number of positions and should see plenty of game time against a lot of good opponents. This is a great move for him.
At the very least, Bedoya will get plenty of opportunities at Nantes. Whether he succeeds there remains to be seen, but with the chance provided to him, on a team that desperately needs him and in a top league, it is a wonderful move that gives him a golden opportunity to force his way onto the 2014 World Cup team. Now it is on him to make this ideal signing count and book his trip to Brazil.