Lorient

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Round 37

Lorient 2 - 1 FC Metz
2021-05-16 21:00 More Reports
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Season Guide
2020/2021

Lorient

In


Adrian Grbic (att) (Clermont); Stephane Diarra (mid) (Le Mans); Quentin Boisgard (mid) (Toulouse); Jeremy Morel (def) (Rennes); Matthieu Dreyer (gk) (Amiens); Josue Homawoo (def) (Nantes); Gaetan Courtet (att) (Ajaccio), Mohamed Mara (att) (Paris FC) (both loan returns)

Out


Ilan Meslier (gk) (Leeds); Maxime Etuin (sp)(mid) (Le Mans); Mihamed Kamissoko (def) (Pau); Maxime Pattier (gk) (Briochin); Quentin Lecoueche (sp)(def) (Ajaccio); Peter Ouaneh (def) (Concarneau); Moussa Guel (mid) (Valenciennes); Wilfried Ebane (def), Jonathan Martins Pereira (def), Joris Sainati (def), Jimmy Cabot (sp)(mid) (all released); Yann Kitala (att) (Lyon), Arnaud Lauriente (sp)(att) (Rennes) (both loan ends)

Lorient were declared Ligue 2 champions last season as the campaign halted prematurely, but Christophe Pellissier’s side were stalling in their challenge at that point, having lost four of five matches. There was little doubt that for much of the season, the Breton side were the division’s outstanding side, and they will seek to highlight that by making a strong impression on their return to the top flight. Generally regarded as a well-run club, they have invested in their team in a bid to ensure their survival. Big money has been spent on Clermont striker Adrian Grbic, who will shoulder a big goalscoring burden in attack, while significant investments, too, have been made in attacking midfielders Stephane Diarra and Quentin Boisgard. While the focus has been on recruiting exciting young talent to play in attack, they have opted for more experience in their rearguard, with veteran defender Jeremy Morel returning to the club as well as former Amiens keeper Matthieu Dreyer, who will be back-up. Josue Homawoo is the only youngster thus far recruited for the defence, arriving on loan from Nantes. It is the rearguard that is set to come under most scrutiny this season. Thomas Fontaine and Mathieu Saunier have not played a great deal of Ligue 1 football, while the full-backs are equally inexperienced and less likely to have the offensive influence they enjoyed last term. Vincent Le Goff was particularly profitable going forward, with eight assists. Fabien Lemoine, the captain, will have a key role to play in the midfield but will have to prove he is still capable of cutting it at this standard at 33, while Sylvain Marveaux could be a valuable offensive joker in the No.10 role. There are no shortage of attacking options, but while these players were strong in Ligue 2, none has proven themselves in top flight yet. Yoane Wissa was their ace last season, scoring 15 times off the left wing, while Pierre-Yves Hamel was a key link man in the No.9 role.

Target


Survival is the goal.

Season Review
2020/2021

№16: Lorient

Lorient survived their first season back in the top flight, though their finishing position of 16th was far higher than their average position in the league. Les Merlus spent most of the campaign in 17th, but, in spite of this, head coach Christophe Pellissier was nominated for the league’s Manager of the Year prize – testimony to the difficulty involved in keeping Lorient up. There was a period they looked in real trouble, having avoided falling to the foot of the table only for an incredible 3-2 home win over Paris Saint-Germain to really kickstart their campaign and drive them up the standings. If Adrian Grbic was expected to be their key summer signing, the Austria international ultimately proved a disappointment as he scored only four goals – no more than Pierre-Yves Hamel. Instead, it was Terem Moffi who exploded for Lorient as he scored 15 times in 34 outings. Meanwhile, he was ably supported by Yoane Wissa, who got 11. Having two players with such tallies was a major boost to Lorient’s survival push. There were some positives in midfield, which worked best towards the end of the campaign when they adopted a 5-3-2 shape. Enzo Le Fee caught the eye at times but could have done with more end product, while it was Laurent Abergel who was surprisingly the most effective of their central players. At the back, there were clear weaknesses at times, with a lack of concentration costing Lorient on several occasions. Furthermore, they had perhaps the weakest goalkeeping in the league outside of Dijon, which did not help their cause any. Injuries to centre-backs were frequent – January signing Tiago Ilori did not even get the chance to play for the club – but it was still surprising to see Lorient lean on Trevoh Chalobah in the heart of their defence. Lorient had a close call this time around, and they will face another difficult campaign in 2021-22 – especially if they lose Moffi.


Player of the Season: Terem Moffi

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