“I was disappointed”: MHSC president Laurent Nicollin looks back on Maxime Estève’s departure from Burnley last February

“I was disappointed”: MHSC president Laurent Nicollin looks back on Maxime Estève’s departure from Burnley last February

Maxime Estève a disputé son dernier match sous le maillot du MHSC face à Lille (0-0), le 28 janvier dernier. Midi Libre – JEAN-MICHEL MART

Deux mois après le transfert du défenseur international Espoirs en Angleterre, Laurent Nicollin confie son amertume.

Maxime Estève ended up going English. On February 1, on the last day of the winter transfer window, the defender trained and revealed at the highest level by Montpellier joined the English club Burnley. In the case, the MHSC should recover a total of more than 12 million euros. counting the bonuses. But Laurent Nicollin didn't really accept this departure, he confided during the major interview given to Midi Libre and published this Friday, March 29.

"I’was disappointed", makes no secret of the Montpellier president. A year earlier, he had rejected the advances of Nottingham Forest in particular and retained his international Espoirs. Why did you give in this time ? "It’s not me who decided. When a player calls you every day saying: "I want to leave, I'm going to earn so much per month"…", explains -he.

"I'm not going to war with this"

"For me, he wasn't leaving: the English wanted a player without paying anything or paying in August. Maxime broke my balls. And we ended up letting him go", adds the president, who details another initial plan : " He was due to leave in June. We received an amount that we would not have had at that time, we have to be honest. But it wasn't me who forced him to leave."

Almost two months after the departure of the player who arrived at the MHSC at the age of 12, the bitterness is palpable among the president of La Paillade. "He’s a kid who is trained at the club, who claims to love it and who wants to leave for a few euros more, I'm not going to war with that. I was disappointed", he breathes, also skeptical about the destination, Burnley standing in 19th and penultimate in the Premier League. "When you are an international Espoir, when you are 21 years old, it is perhaps better to stay in your training club and find a club of another caliber. But I respect his choice."

"Every offer, he wanted to leave"

"But Maxime is a worrier by nature and with each offer, he wanted to leave for financial peace, continues Laurent Nicollin. If, like Joris (Chotard), you play 150 matches in L1, you will inevitably have clubs."

Maxime Estève joined the MHSC pros in August 2021, propelled into the starting line-up at 19 against OM for his first appearance in Ligue 1. He then played 58 other matches in the elite (1 goal, 1 assist), before discovering the French U20 team then Espoirs before the U23s during the last break. Since arriving in England, he has started six of the Clarets' seven matches. But his departure has not yet been digested in Montpellier.

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