Montpellier HSC

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Ligue 1
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Season Guide
2021/2022

Montpellier HSC

In


Thuler (def) (Flamengo, loan); Mamadou Sakho (def) (Crystal Palace); Leo Leroy (mid) (Chateauroux)

Out


Keegan Dolly (mid) (Kaizer Chiefs); Damien Le Tallec (sp)(mid) (AEK); Daniel Congre (r)(def) (Dijon); Il-lok Yun (sp)(att) (Ulsan); Samy Benchamma (mid) (Niort); Clement Vidal (def) (Ajaccio); Hilton (sp)(def) (released)

Montpellier enjoyed a good season last time out, missing out on Europe but securing a comfortable finish high up the table. There has been, however, a changing of the guard in the summer, with long time head coach Michel Der Zakarian stepping aside to be replaced by Olivier Dall’Oglio, while experienced players Hilton and Daniel Congre have left, too. Montpellier’s philosophy should not change too dramatically. Dall’Oglio is a coach who prefers to play attacking football where possible but, like Der Zakarian before him, he has a pragmatic side and is prepared to become more direct when it suits his side. This should be ideal for strike duo Andy Delort and Gaetan Laborde, a pair that much will rest upon given their excellent understanding. The front two of Montpellier are also important because they are otherwise a little limited in terms of centre-forward options. Elye Wahi is likely to be their third choice, although he is only 18 and, while promising, is still erratic. There are a couple of excellent technicians in midfield in the form of Teji Savanier and Florent Mollet. Youngster Leo Leroy has arrived to provide cover. But there is good balance in midfield, too, with Jordan Ferri and Joris Chotard offering cover in a more defensive capacity. Montpellier’s significant changes have come in defence, where the experienced pairing of Congre and Hilton have departed, while Pedro Mendes is a long-term absentee. Mamadou Sakho and Thuler have arrived, though the Brazilian faces a challenge to settle in France. Nicolas Cozza, meanwhile, could graduate to the status of a regular if they elect to go with a three-man defence. There are options in the full-back areas, too. Arnaud Souquet and Junior Sambia are a good pair on the right, while there is not as much depth on the left.

Target


Montpellier are in a season of transition. A solid mid-table finish would be a decent achievement.

Season Review
2020/2021

№8: Montpellier HSC

Montpellier were not quite able to force European football, despite finishing eighth in Ligue 1 and going close to beating Paris Saint-Germain in the Coupe de France semi-final, losing out only on penalties. It was indeed a case of so close but so far for Michel Der Zakarian’s side, who never seemed quite able to get up a head of steam required to make a good push to go further. Offensively, they were exceptional, with the quartet of Florian Mollet, Teji Savanier, Gaetan Laborde and Andy Delort all strong performers. Indeed, there is arguably no better understanding between forwards in the whole of Ligue 1 like Laborde and Delort, who scored 37 goals between them in all competitions and have an elite level of complicity. Stephy Mavididi’s performances should also not go unnoticed as his level helped force a change in formation away from Der Zakarian’s long-time favoured three at the back into a 4-3-3. He finished the season on nine goals. The defensive side of Montpellier’s game was not nearly so good. Daniel Congre, Pedro Mendes and Hilton all showed some signs of their age, while Arnaud Souquet, who had been such a potent weapon as a right wing-back, was not nearly so effective due to the switch to a flat back four. His place was taken by Junior Sambia. In goal, meanwhile, Jonas Omlin had a decent debut season but will be pushed next season by France Under-21 goalkeeper Dimitry Bertaud, who took over for the last games of the campaign due to injury and impressed. It threatens to be all change in the summer at Montpellier, though. Der Zakarian will depart the club, leaving a coaching void that must be filled. The work he conducted was strong, and they will have a hard time finding better.


Player of the Season: Gaetan Laborde

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