Samuel Essende (att) (Pau); Romain Thomas (def) (Angers); Emmanuel Ntim (def) (Valenciennes); Anthony Mandrea (gk) (Angers); Quentin Daubin (mid) (Pau); Johann Obiang (def) (Rodez); Iyad Mohamed (mid) (Auxerre); Bilal Brahimi (mid) (Dunkerque)
Johann Lepenant (k)(mid) (Lyon); Nicholas Gioacchini (sp)(att) (Orlando); Remy Riou (sp)(gk) (Lyon); Anthony Goncalves (sp)(mid) (Laval); Yoel Armougom (r)(def) (Sochaux); Aloys Fouda (def) (Chateauroux); Steve Shamal (sp)(att) (Annecy); Andreas Hountondji (sp)(att) (QRM, loan); Sullivan Pean (Dunkerque, loan); Zeidane Inoussa (mid) (Real Murcia); Ilyes Najim (mid) (Bourg, loan); Prince Oniangue (r)(def) (released); Nuno Da Costa (r)(att) (Nottingham Forest), Mehdi Chahiri (r)(mid) (Strasbourg) (both loan end)
New Caen head coach Stephane Moulin did not quite have the desired effect at his new club last season but, though they missed challenging for the playoffs, a seventh placed finish was their best since dropping back to Ligue 2 in 2019 and the club also enjoyed a positive run of form towards the end of the season, in particular building a lengthy undefeated record at home.
Despite the progress, Moulin clearly was not entirely happy with what his squad achieved and there have been significant changes to the squad, with veterans Prince Oniangue, Remy Riou and Anthony Goncalves among those to move on. Few players that the coach would have wanted to retain have departed, though Johann Lepenant’s transfer to Lyon was inevitable and a major blow. Similarly, left-back Yoel Armougom has switched to rivals Sochaux. On the whole, though, squad players have gone.
Caen, meanwhile, have signed a group of players who should improve the depth of their squad without necessarily revolutionising the starting XI. Romain Thomas joins up from Angers, Moulin’s old club, and should prove to be a very solid addition in the heart of the defence. Quentin Daubin joins from Pau as Lepenant’s replacement while Johann Obiang is a nice, attacking replacement for Armougom on the left.
Meanwhile, the likes of Emmanuel Ntim, Bilal Brahimi and Iyad Mohamed should ensure there is more strength in depth about this team than there was last season.
Alexandre Mendy will be a pivotal player this season. He achieved a personal best season last time out but has not been a reliable forward and even last term leaned on a quick start to post some impressive numbers. Caen need him to be more consistent. Similarly, Yoann Court is returning after a long-term injury and, if he can thrive, the team surely will too. Samuel Essende has arrived from Pau and will be aiming to better the seven goals he got last season.
Caen will be aiming to finish in a higher position than seventh. Promotion will likely be beyond them, but they should be in broad contention.