Sebastien Corchia has told Goal that he is thrilled that Marcelo Bielsa has agreed to become Lille head coach as of summer 2017, but admitted that he may not be there to enjoy the Argentine’s freewheeling style.
On Friday, Lille will tackle Bielsa’s previous club in Ligue 1, Marseille, and for the France international right-back, that match is his priority due to LOSC’s perilous position just above the relegation zone.
“We are all excited about Bielsa arriving this summer,” he admitted. “We saw Bielsa in Marseille as a coach who developed his players enormously. He has a great reputation, and his style of football will be exciting for players and fans.
“But football is not about what happens next season - it is all about working hard and producing here and now. As a club, we want to make big progress, but we want it to start right now and not wait till next season.”
Corchia even admitted his time at Stade Pierre-Mauroy might be growing short, though he is not set on a move elsewhere.
“I don’t know my own future yet because this summer I will have only one year left on my contract,” he said. “So it will be a good time to have a look at plans for the next stage of my career, especially as I am entering what normally is the best years for a football player.”
Despite the struggles of his side, the 26-year-old’s performances have certainly caught the eye, and he is hopeful of being called into the France squad to face Luxembourg and Spain later this month having made his debut in a draw against Ivory Coast in November.
“It is a super group of players all sharing very high ambitions for the future of the France team,” he said. “I feel comfortable on that international level, and it is an enormous motivation for me to work hard every day at training to keep on developing myself and to be able to produce my very best on the pitch in every game.
“My debut brought me a lot of pride. It is a whole new dimension for me. Returning to Clairefontaine, where I spent three years as a youth player in the academy, and representing my country. It was always my dream to play for Les Bleus - as a child and ever since I was the captain of the France U21 team.”
Statistics also prove how strong a campaign the former Sochaux man is having, and he admits to loving when numbers highlight his strengths, especially if they are overlooked elsewhere. Corchia, for example, has won more duels than any other Ligue 1 full-back this season.
“I enjoy hearing about stats like this - you can’t argue against facts,” he said.
“People often ask me about my attacking skills with free-kicks, running against the opponent and crossing, but my most important role is to defend - I am a defender. So, I am happy to see proof that I do a good job winning my duels.
“Actually,” he laughed, “I also saw another stat, that I am the most fouled right-back in Ligue 1, and that is a nice stat as well.
“I love to defend, and I enjoy both the tactical part of that and to go in there trying to win every little battle, direct challenge and duel with my opponent. As a defender, I treasure every clean sheet like I have scored a goal - and every won duel is just the same good feeling for me as when I deliver a dangerous cross in attack.”
Corchia has played all of Lille’s Ligue 1 matches this season, missing only two minutes, and on Friday goes chasing a 10th victory of the season against OM.