Benjamin Leroy (gk)(Dijon); Qazim Laci (mid)(Olympiakos); Mohamed Youssouf (att)(Levadiakos); Joseph Mendes (att)(Reading); Jérémy Choplin (def)(free agent)
Moussa Maazou (sp)(att)(Racing Club de Lens, end of loan); Faïz Selemani (sp)(def)(Lorient, end of loan); Jean-Louis Leca (r)(gk)(Racing Club de Lens); Joris Sainati (r)(def)(Lorient); Riffi Mandanda (sp)(gk)(US Boulogne-sur-mer); Mady Camara (r)(mid)(Olympiakos); Abdoulaye Keita (sp)(mid)(Panionios)
The past season was a surprising one for AC Ajaccio as they finished on the third place in the regular season against all expectations. Having eventually failed to reach promotion to the Ligue 1 due to a double defeat to Toulouse in the relegation/promotion playoffs, the Corsicans aim at being protagonists once again in the new campaign.
The architect of such almost-success, Olivier Pantaloni, was confirmed at the helm of the team for the 4th consecutive year and he will be asked to build from what good done in the past campaign. The home performances, only second to Stade Reims, who actually won the Ligue 2, were certainly one of the keys to AC Ajaccio triumphs and, in order to make their bid for a return to the Ligue 1 after a 5-year absence successful, they will have to be a fundamental element once again.
For the new season, AC Ajaccio confirmed most of the structure of the squad with major changes happening especially between the sticks. In fact, both Jean-Louis Leca and Riffi Mandanda left for pastures new while the experienced Benjamin Leroy will be the new shot stopper after hardly ever playing in the past two years at Dijon. François-Joseph Sollacaro will be his alternative on the bench.
Joris Sainati and Faïz Selemani both left for Lorient, thus leaving Pantaloni short of options at the back. For such reason, the management are about to sign an experienced free agent, Jeremy Choplin. In the midfield, Mady Camara, a protagonist of the past campaign, and Abdoulaye Keita joined two Greek sides, Olympiakos and Panionios respectively. Qazim Laci was re-signed from Olympiakos themselves, but some muscles might still be needed in the middle of the park.
The ageing Ghislain Gimbert and Riad Nouri, who contributed with plenty of goals in the past campaign, were confirmed in the attack. The new coming Mohamed Youssouf and Joseph Mendes should allow them to take some breath during the long season.
AC Ajaccio will be aiming at winning the league and they might very well do so if they fill those holes, in defence and midfield, that are still plaguing the squad. And if their supporters manage to hold their temper, problem which probably cost them promotion itself in the past campaign.