Ah, transfer season. The time of year when soccer fans around the world will stalk players’ social media for anything that could hint at a move.
I’ve seen some rumblings from Toronto FC fans recently about Chris Mavinga’s comments on Twitter in the past couple days. Apparently, some of the things he said gave people the impression he was considering leaving TFC, potentially even for the Montreal Impact.
So, by the power vested in me by university French courses, I’m going to try and make sense of (and put to rest) this rumour that the centre-back has any intention of leaving Toronto.
Disclaimer: I am not fluent in French. Not in any way. I bought a train ticket in Montreal once. Please let me know if I’ve butchered this beautiful language.
Unless I’m missing something, this gossip seems to have found its footing on Sunday, when Mavinga replied to a Montreal fan on Twitter:
Je suis encore sous contrat donc je ne suis pas le seul décideur. L'equipe en bleu et noir comme tu dis avait toute ces chances a l'epoque mais leur proposition ne m'est jamais parvenu— Chris Mavinga (@Chris_Mavinga) January 14, 2018
@mrfootdefoot: One has to believe... a return to Europe? To France... Or still MLS, but a serious club? #blueandblack? I remember... to have had a good nose for things...
@Chris_Mavinga: I’m still under contract, therefore I am not the only decider. The team in blue and black like you say had every chance at the time, but their offer never got to me.
Another Impact fan responded to @mrfootdefoot’s original tweet, which speculated whether Mavinga was leaving Toronto:
Bon Chris on fait quoi maintenant....on s'assoit autour d'une table ?— MR footdefoot (@mrfootdefoot) January 15, 2018
@jayt1815_jeremy: If the offer had come, would you become or wish to become blue and black? Believe me, we need someone like you brother, and with our French staff from now on you would be more at ease than ever! Nothing better than speaking French together! PLEASE COME! ;)
@mrfootdefoot: Okay Chris, what do we do now.... shall we sit around a table?
Mavinga’s response to the two Impact fans was a little cheeky:
Je suis à l'écoute— Chris Mavinga (@Chris_Mavinga) January 15, 2018
@Chris_Mavinga: I’m listening ;)
Finally, the French defender seems to have put it all to bed today, sending out this last tweet:
So. What do we make of all this?
Well first off, we certainly don’t start believing Mavinga is headed to Montreal to join Raheem Edwards. The tone of this whole thing is very lighthearted; it’s all banter and joking around with rival fans.
Sure, maybe Mavinga would’ve picked Montreal had they come calling last winter. And maybe those Impact fans weren’t kidding when they were wondering if the Frenchman might leave Toronto.
There’s no denying, though, that everything to this point has indicated that Mavinga is perfectly happy with TFC. His Instagram is comparable to Sebastian Giovinco’s: the English may not always be perfect, but his contentment with Toronto certainly comes across. Remember his letter to TFC fans a few days after the MLS Cup victory?
Also, this hilarious tweet from Boxing Day:
Remember how absolutely mental he went with the trophy itself? And with the Voyageurs Cup? The Eastern Conference Final trophy? The Trillium Cup, even?? Mavinga never once looked like he wasn’t loving every second of TFC’s magnificent 2017.
All this seems to be is a good sense of humour. Even though the tweets are in French, the emojis can give you an idea of his tone.
I have nothing but the utmost confidence that Mavinga is a big piece of the future at Toronto FC. If he transfers to Montreal this winter, I will personally buy an Impact shirt and wear it for a day.