Rayan Ait Nouri (def) (Wolves); Ludovic Butelle (sp)(gk) (Red Star); Lassana Coulibaly (sp)(mid) (Salernitana); Lois Diony (sp)(att) (Red Star Belgrade); Thomas Toure (mid) (released)
Angers saw a long era of consistency and solidarity ending in the summer when head coach Stephane Moulin stepped away from the club after a highly successful decade in charge. Moulin helped to re-establish Angers as a Ligue 1 club, though there is perhaps a sense that he took them as far as he possibly could.
Gerard Baticle is the man to step into his shoes, with the former Lyon assistant not having had a top job since 2008-09, when he led Brest for around two-thirds of a season.
If Moulin left, Angers have at least retained the core of the staff that secured comfortable safety last season. Of the club’s regulars, only Ibrahim Amadou and Lois Diony departed – those other players to leave were purely bit-part options.
Conversely, though, the market has been slow for Angers in terms of incoming players. Indeed, they have not signed anyone that would obviously go into their starting XI.
Angers, though, have a perfectly serviceable Ligue 1 squad. Goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni is one of the top young prospects in his position while in front of him Angers boast a trio of experienced central defenders who know exactly what is expected of them and who have a strong collective understanding.
The midfield faces a test this season due to the loss of Amadou, who has not yet been obviously replaced. Thomas Mangani is another starter well over the age of 30 in the defensive sector, while going forward they are expected to see Angelo Fulgini – by far their best player last season – sold.
There is untapped potential in the wide areas in the form of Sofiane Boufal, Mathias Pereira Lage and Farid El Melali. Baticle could use at least one but ideally two of these players to come good.
In attack, Rachid Alioui has been showing good form in pre-season after a season written off due to off-field issues, but it will still be Stephane Bahoken Angers lean on.
Overall, their squad is experienced – but a little too much in defence. In midfield and attack, meanwhile, the loss of Fulgini means that they need to find some creativity – and very probably some goals.
Angers face a period of transition that they hope will be as short as possible. The aim will be a solid mid-table position but this promises to be a challenge.