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USMNT’s Matt Miazga joins Nantes on loan

Portugal vs USA - International Friendly

LEIRIA, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 14: Gonçalo Guedes of Portugal competes for the ball with Matt Miazga during the International Friendly match between Portugal and USA at Estadio Municipal Leiria on November 14, 2017 in Leiria, Portugal. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

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USMNT and Chelsea center back Matt Miazga has joined Ligue 1 side Nantes on loan for the 2018/19 campaign.

Miazga, 23, has spent the past two seasons on loan at Chelsea’s partner club Vitesse Arnhem in the Dutch top-flight, and after standout displays in Holland (where he won the Dutch cup in 2016/17) and for the U.S. national team over the summer, Miazga was courted by several teams.

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He appeared set to join another Ligue 1 side, Cannes, on loan, but Nantes swooped for the New York Red Bulls product and they have the option to buy him permanently at the end of this season.

Is this a good move for Miazga?

You have to say that it is step up for the young defender and he will be tested by the big boys in France’s top-flight such as PSG, Lyon, Monaco and Marseille. He will get the chance to compete for a starting spot at Nantes but it could take him some time to break into their first team.

Nantes is coming off the back of a top 10 finish in Ligue 1 last season as they were ninth in the table under Claudio Ranieri but over the summer the Italian boss left and Portuguese coach Miguel Cardoso has arrived.

As for his time at Chelsea, he made just two appearances back in 2015/16 when Gus Hiddink was in charge on an interim basis and he isn’t in Maurizio Sarri’s plans at Stamford Bridge. At this stage of his career the composed center back needs to play regularly at the highest level possible and a move to Ligue 1 certainly offers him the chance to do that.

After his fellow USMNT teammate Alejandro Bedoya, Miazga becomes just the second American to play for the Canaries.

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