Cercle Brugge

First Division A
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Cercle Brugge

In


Merveille Goblet (gk) free agent; Stef Peeters (mid) Caen; Aboubakar Kante (mid) Beziers; Loic Badiashile (gk) Monaco – on loan; Giulian Binacone (def) Monaco – on loan; Julien Serrano (def) Monaco – on loan; Jordi Mboula (mid) Monaco – on loan; Kouadio-Yves Dabila (def) Lille – on loan; Rominigue Kouame (mid) Lille – on loan; Guillaume Hubert (gk) Club Brugge – on loan; Idriss Saadi (att) Strasbourg – on loan; Hector Rodas (def) Alcorcon – end of loan;

Out


Benjamin Lambot (r) (def) released; Gianni Bruno (r) (att) released; Issa Marega (r) (def) Chateauroux; Xavier Mercier (k) (mid) OH Leuven; Paul Nardi (r) (gk) Monaco – end of loan; Yoann Etienne (r) (def) Monaco B – end of loan; Adama Traore (r) (mid) Monaco – end of loan; Irvin Cardona (r) (att) Monaco – end of loan; Benjamin Delacourt (sp) (def) Molenbeek; Serge Gakpe (sp) (mid) Apollon Limassol; Kevin Appin (sp) (mid) Monaco B – end of loan; Guevin Tormin (sp) (att) Monaco B – end of loan; Pierre-Daniel Nguinda (def) Monaco B – end of loan; Nabil Alioui (mid) Monaco B – end of loan; Anderson Lopez (att) Monaco B – end of loan;

Cercle had very difficult season from October onwards last term and they survived on their return to the top flight only thanks to the points accumulated in the first 2 months of the campaign. Logically the dreadful form, particularly past the winter break, saw managerial change and huge revamp of the squad taking place over the summer. French manager Mercadal is the new boss, he coached Caen not very successfully last season, with his first weeks in charge very busy. As many as 9 regulars from last season left Cercle, including captain Lambot and the team’s most creative playmaker Mercier. To replace the latter the coach signed Peeters from Caen, with the new main inner midfielder of the club well known to the manager as he was coaching him last season. Also as usual Monaco sent numerous players to their feeder club, with at least 4-5 more Monaco loanees expected to join before the transfer window closes. Saadi was another important player that joined on loan, with the robust centre forward expected to be crucial up front. Cercle are still short on defensive options, currently only 3 typical centre-backs are in the team, plus apart from Saadi they don’t have another typical target man up front. This could be changed by incoming transfers, but as things stand the squad doesn’t look complete and also based on pre-season tests so far the new boss is yet to settle on formation. Mercadal already used 4 different shapes and he is still experimenting.

Target


Avoiding relegation is the top goal, with Cercle likely to just about achieve this. Top 10 finish seems unlikely though.

Season Review
2018/2019

№13: Cercle Brugge

Cercle did what they targeted to do in their first season back in the top flight, with survival achieved thanks to the good early results with the displays past Christmas very poor. Being feeder team of French giants Monaco the season began with as many as 13 young players on loan at Cercle from Monaco. It was the strong early results that generated the points needed, with 6 of the 7 league wins in the regular season achieved before the end of November. Without being impacted by injuries too much Cercle somehow lost their way past the winter break and they ended the regular season on eleven-game winless run (3 draws and 8 defeats). Luckily others made as many mistakes and Cercle had their safety secured with a few games to spare. However, the decline in the displays continued in the play-offs with Cercle never really contesting the top spot in their group. In the end Cercle set new negative record by finishing season on 18-game run in which 2 goals or more were conceded. It was due to this prolonged negative run that coach Laurent Guyot was sacked halfway through the play-offs and now Cercle will be looking for new manager. Also major overhaul of personnel can be expected in the summer with so many players on loan at the club and now set to return to their parent clubs. Up front Bruno and Tormin had solid seasons, but the one player that was key for almost every attacking move of Cercle was playmaker Mercier.


Player of the Season: Xavier Mercier

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