French forward Corentin Jean is officially on the ground in Fort Lauderdale as Inter Miami set themselves for a big Playoff push in the latter half of the 2022 MLS season.
The Herons had already pulled off the eye-catching acquisition of Spanish playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo from Toronto FC during this window. But they weren’t done there, with Jean arriving from RC Lens with 160 French Ligue 1 matches under his belt.
Inter Miami already have an impressive set of attacking pieces at their disposal with strikers like Leonardo Campana and Gonzalo Higuain supplied by Pozuelo through the middle and Indiana Vassilev out wide.
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Jean’s job will likely be to supplement the attack in multiple areas, with head coach Phil Neville hailing the 27-year-old’s versatility.
“He’s at a brilliant age where he’s coming up to his peak,” Neville said at Jean’s introductory press conference. “He’s very versatile, he can play 7, 11, 10, as a 9. He’s really quick over 5-10 meters, he can beat people one-v-one, he’s got really good delivery from set plays and from wide areas. And he’s just got that big-game experience that we feel as if he’ll give us that composure in the final third. We’ve got in Pozuelo, we’ve got in now Coco to add to the real good players that we’ve got.”
Though he personally prefers being the man in the middle, Jean himself revealed that he’s been used more on the wings during training, dovetailing with a central striker.
“I’ve been very well-received by the team,” he said via a translator. “I do like to play up top but coach prefers to play in a 4-3-3. I’ve been used more at training in either a left or right position as a support for Gonzalo and Campana. But I hope that our relationships will continue to develop, and so far it’s been going well.”
He added: “When I was in France I had a chance to watch some of the matches. There’s definitely a lot of quality in the team and the league itself has a lot of parity, so each match is difficult. For myself, I do like having space to work with, so the type of play is favorable for myself. I do enjoy playing on the left or the right, but my preferred position is definitely up top as one of the two strikers.”
Jean could make his Inter Miami debut when the team host FC Cincinnati on Saturday, though Neville won’t rush his integration.
“He’s not played a game I think since May, so we’re going to have to make sure when we put Coco in it’s the right time and he’s ready to perform, and not leave him short,” he said. “So we’ve got some real good decisions to make in our forward positions.”