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Ekitike, Lacazette, Openda: the 10 players to follow this season in L1


VSclub changes, returns to Ligue 1 and summer curiosities: many players are raising questions a few days before the resumption of the championship on Friday August 5. If the transfer window only closes its doors in a month and the movements will still multiply by then, Point selects for you the ten players who deserve the detour.

Hugo Ekitike (PSG): the big leap

After five years without a rookie made in France since Kylian Mbappé, PSG has bet on the young striker from Reims, revelation of the last season. Despite Newcastle’s insistence, Ekitike headed for the capital, where he has no shortage of ambitions. “Danger has not entered my thinking. All those who positioned themselves were big clubs. I’m not afraid of anything, I want to discover the high level”, he declared to the Parisian. Loaned with a compulsory purchase option at 36 million euros, he will have to find a place in an attack where places are expensive. But with the ardor of his youth, Ekitike does not seem to fear much, starting with the competition.

Jonathan Clauss (OM): World Cup goal

By joining Olympique de Marseille this summer, the 29-year-old right-back made the choice of stability by staying in France. By betting on OM, Jonathan Clauss hopes to continue to grow, he who arrived late at the professional level, and above all to obtain his ticket for the next World Cup in Qatar. Retained for the first time last March by Didier Deschamps, the former Lensois wants to put the odds on his side to be part of the adventure. A departure abroad, in the event of a lack of immediate playing time, could have compromised his chances. Marseille has in any case recovered a reference corridor player in L1, an excellent center and a good shooter from set pieces. The one who made Bollaert dream now hopes to capsize the Vélodrome.

Alexandre Lacazette (OL): back to the future

After a disappointing eighth place last season, OL used major maneuvers this summer. Among the notable signatures, we find two former members of the house: Corentin Tolisso and Alexandre Lacazette. The latter returns to the fold after five mixed years on the side of Arsenal in England. A confirmed player in L1, where he scored 100 goals in 203 appearances, the 31-year-old striker is also a locker room leader. In the absence of the European Cup, he will have to guide his people to the podium, a legitimate ambition and above all necessary to avoid the wrath of Groupama Stadium once again.

Takumi Minamino (Monaco): a golden deal?

Substitute for several seasons in Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, Takumi Minamino is nonetheless a quality recruit for AS Monaco. The Japanese international arrives on the Rock with a solid CV and a profile that has everything to flourish in L1. ASM is counting on him immediately with the qualifying matches for the next Champions League. Also with the World Cup in sight, Minamino hopes to quickly adapt to perform in all competitions. Able to play on the wing or as number 10, it is in any case an attractive profile for Philippe Clement, the Monegasque coach.

Arthur Theate (Rennes): a new boss for the Bretons

Following the departure of Nayef Aguerd to West Ham, Stade Rennes has long sought the rare pearl in central defence. After the failures of Kim Min-jae, who left for Naples, and José Luis Palomino, who tested positive for a doping product, the Breton leaders therefore turned to the Belgian international. Recruited in Bologna for almost 20 million euros, the left-hander was courted especially in England. While it may look like a spare wheel, Theate has some very interesting features, according to Florian Maurice, Technical Director of SRFC. “He is a player who commits a lot, he likes to defend, he likes the duel, he has a natural aggressiveness and incredible energy. »

Loïs Openda (Lens): the new North trigger

After two successful seasons on loan with the Sang et Or, Arnaud Kalimuendo has definitely returned to Paris. To replace him, Racing has bet on Loïs Openda, Belgian neo-international, who is coming out of two good seasons in the Netherlands, on the side of Vitesse Arnhem. With his defensive profile, extremely lively in transition, the striker has ideal characteristics for the game developed by Franck Haise. The one who has improved significantly in the finish in recent months can quickly become Bollaert’s darling if the goals start to follow. We were also able to see a sample of it in a friendly match, against Inter Milan, with a brilliant inspiration to offer victory to his people (1-0).

Mohamed Bayo (Lille): the awaited confirmation

Noted for his first season in the top flight with 14 goals scored for Clermont, the 24-year-old striker chose Losc to continue his progress. The 2021 French champions had to recompose their squad this summer after a failed season (tenth in L1) and Mohamed Bayo fits perfectly into this new project. “I will give everything to try to help the club achieve its goals. The Domaine de Luchin is a magnificent place, conducive to work. There is no better place to work and progress, ”said the Guinean international on the Losc website. He will notably have to replace the imposing Burak Yilmaz and form a new duo with Jonathan David. A rather attractive combination on paper.

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Moussa Sissoko (Nantes): a Swiss army knife for the Canaries

After nine seasons in England alongside Newcastle, Tottenham and Watford, Moussa Sissoko returns to Ligue 1. Recruited for his experience and his versatile profile by the Canaries, the French international (71 selections) arrives in a team that will compete in the Europa League following their victory in the Coupe de France. “Everything I have experienced, whether in good times or even in difficult times, I will be able to share it. And even if the team retains only one or two percent, I think, and I hope, that it can make it progress, ”said the former Toulouse player on the Ligue 1 site. experience of the Premier League and the Blues, Antoine Kombouaré expects in any case a lot from his new framework.

Karamoko Dembélé (Brest): a prodigy in search of a rebound

Announced as a future Lionel Messi at Celtic Glasgow, the young striker has not yet been able to confirm the hopes placed in him. A very precocious player, he had broken several records, including an appearance in U20 with the Scottish club, when he was only 13 years old! His progress was disrupted last summer by a major ankle injury. Free, the 19-year-old winger chose Stade Brestois to launch his professional career. “I like to have fun and give it to the supporters,” declared Karamoko Dembélé during his presentation to the press. His encouraging preparation shows that he may finally be on the right track.

Branco van den Boomen (Toulouse): success in L2, hit in L1?

Trained at Ajax, this midfielder who knows how to do everything comes out of a remarkable season with Toulouse on the lower floor: 12 goals scored and above all 21 assists. Recruited in 2020 thanks to statistical data software, he quickly adapted to France. If he was courted this summer, the Dutchman should stay on the banks of the Garonne to help the TFC maintain this season. Having become a part of the Violets, Branco van den Boomen hopes to make a name for himself in Ligue 1 and why not knock on the door of his selection.


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