Football Season Guide

Pau FC


Diyaeddine Abzi (def)(York United); Mons Bassouamina (att)(Bastia Borgo); Quentin Galvez-Diarra (gk)(FC Sochaux); Sessi D'Almeida (mid)(Valenciennes FC); Jean Ruiz (def)(FC Sion); Walid Jarmouni (att)(FC Sochaux); Mayron George (att)(Lausanne-Sport); Henri Saivet (mid)(free agent); Quang Hai Nguyen (mid)(free agent); Noé Sow (mid)(Stade Brestois);


Quentin Daubin (r)(mid)(SM Caen); Romain Armand (k)(att)(FC Versailles); Samuel Essende (sp)(att)(SM Caen); Benjamin Bertrand (gk)(retired); Kenji-Van Boto (r)(def)(AJ Auxerre, end of loan); Farid El Melali (sp)(att)(Angers SCO, end of loan); Zakaria Naidji (r)(att)(Paradou AC, end of loan); Denis Will Poha (sp)(mid)(Vitoria Guimaraes, end of loan); Mahamadou Dembélé (r)(def)(ESTAC Troyes, end of loan); Jared Khasa (mid)(FC Sion, end of loan); Stefan Bajic (sp)(gk)(Bristol); Victor Lobry (k)(mid)(released);

In their two initial seasons in Ligue 2, with coach Olivier Tholot at the helm, Pau managed to achieve a 14th and a 10th finish, proving that they well belong to the category. They built both their salvations especially on the home performances: in fact, they won 19 out of the 38 games played in home soil since achieving promotion, while losing 12. Given those results, the management confirmed the gaffer in charge and also asked him to lead the team to further improvements. In their previous seasons, Pau, who live on a rather short budget, relied mostly on players on loan from other clubs and so a big bunch of squad members had to return to their parent clubs over the summer. Among them, starting left-back Van Boto and striker Naidji were the main losses together with centre-back/holding midfielder Dembele. Even more relevant were the departures of key players such as midfielders Lobry and Daubin and striker Armand, who all went for pastures new. Furthermore, they sold the top scorer Essende to Caen. Unlike the past, Pau intend to build the new squad on free agents or attracting players from minor leagues, giving up the loan policy that characterised their past. So, they invested some money on hiring left-back Abzi, who made his name in the Canadian league, and managed to re-sign striker George, who had left a mark at Pau in 2020/2021 while failing to repeat himself at Lausanne. Valid signings should also be represented by midfielders Ruiz, D'Almeida, Sow and Saivet. A lot is also expected by the Vietnamese Messi, Nguyen, who is a non-entity at this level, though. Pau are still looking for a couple of offensive players in the market.


Pau should be able to avoid the fall but do not seem likely to push for a top 10 finish again, having lost too much quality during the summer.