Girondins de Bordeaux

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Season Guide
2021/2022

Girondins de Bordeaux

In


Issouf Sissokho (mid) (Derby Academy); Gideon Mensah (def) (RB Salzburg), Ricardo Mangas (def) (Boavista) (both loans)

Out


Thomas Carrique (def) (Celta); Youssouf Sabaly (r)(def) (Betis); Over Mandanda (gk) (Saint-Priest); Vukasin Jovanovic (def), Maxime Poundje (sp)(def), Nicolas de Preville (sp)(att), Hatem Ben Arfa (sp)(att) (all released); Jean-Michael Seri (sp)(mid) (Fulham, loan end)

Bordeaux had a catastrophic 2020-21 season, which ended with the club flirting with relegation and ending the season in administration. Consequently, the summer has not been without its challenges. For the second season in succession, Bordeaux have gone through much of pre-season without a head coach in place, with this only remedied less than a fortnight out from the start of the season as Switzerland boss Vladimir Petkovic took charge of the side. Meanwhile, the arrival of new owners have stabilised the club financially, though to what degree they will be active in the transfer market this summer remains questionable. Certainly, they have worked to trim the size of their squad, with flop arrivals Hatem Ben Arfa and Nicolas de Preville notably departing on free transfers. Youssouf Sabaly is another first-team player to be allowed to leave, while Jean Michael Seri, who was disappointing in midfield, returned to Fulham after a flat loan spell. Bordeaux have not moved to sign any first-team players, with Issouf Sissokho arriving from Mali as their sole fresh face. While several players have come back from loans, Ruben Pardo and Josh Maja are the only ones who may be used. With Benoit Costil in goal and the experienced pair of Laurent Koscielny and Mexer in defence, Bordeaux are likely to seek improvements in the full-back areas before the start of the season, both of which are short of quality. In terms of the midfield, with Otavio fit again and Toma Basic a player of some potential, Bordeaux are reasonably well covered – especially if Pardo stays. However, depth is an issue. Yacine Adli, for example, was more useful in a more advanced role. Going forward there are also issues. Remi Oudin has been disappointing since arriving from Reims while Samuel Kalu was their best winger last term but spent much of the season injured. While there are options at centre forward, none are particularly proven. Hwang Ui-jo tended to play in bursts but otherwise they have players still too raw or, in the case of Jimmy Briand, simply getting too old.

Target


Bordeaux will expect a far better season than last term, but realistically this campaign is about building a foundation for what is to follow. Mid-table comfort would be a satisfactory achievement.

Season Review
2020/2021

№12: Girondins de Bordeaux

Bordeaux endured one of the worst seasons they have ever experienced in recent memory, although it was plagued by off-field problems that spilled onto the field. The club was not invested in and ultimately went into administration towards the end of the campaign and, while they survived on the pitch, their future remains uncertain. It had always promised to be a difficult season, but four points from the first two games offered hope that talented coach Jean-Louis Gasset was capable of performing miracles. It soon became clear he was not. There were moments of optimism, most notably when Hatem Ben Arfa arrived and briefly sparkled, but he proved more trouble than he was worth as he split the dressing room with his ball-hungry style, and by the end of the campaign he was not featuring at all as Gasset instead started to turn towards the clubs younger players. Ultimately, three wins in the last four games heaved them out of trouble, but it was a close thing. Bordeaux can draw few positives from the campaign save the mentality that saw them ultimately saved. Key players such as Toma Basic and Otavio had low-key campaigns in the heart of the field, while in attack they had only one player – Hwang Ui-Jo – who scored more than four gaols in all competitions. It was simply insufficient and even amid the constraints placed upon the team, there was a sense that they should have done better. Those players draft in, notable Jean Michael Seri, were unable to make an impact, and Bordeaux will simply be happy they got to the end of a very difficult season largely unscathed. The summer, however, promises to be difficult for Bordeaux, who must find a way to stabilise their finances before improving the squad, which is comprised of either very young players or those beyond their best. It will be a major challenge.


Player of the Season: Ui-Jo Hwang

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