Nantes

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Round 1

Lille OSC 2 - 1 Nantes
2019-08-11 14:00 More Reports
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Round 2

2019-08-17 16:30 More Previews
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Nantes

In


Marcus Coco (mid) (Guingamp); Molla Wague (def) (Udinese); Abou Ba (mid) (Nancy); Dennis Appiah (def) Anderlecht); Bridge Ndilu (att) (Laval); Mehdi Abeid (mid) (Dijon); Alban Lafont (gk) (Fiorentina, loan); Santy Ngom (att) (Nancy), Alexis Alegue (mid) (Tours), Yassin El Ghanassy (att) (Al-Raed) (all loan returns)

Out


Diego Carlos (r)(def) (Sevilla); Koffi Djidji (def) (Torino); Anthony Limbombe (sp)(att) (Standard); Ciprian Tatarusanu (k)(gk) (Lyon); Maxime Dupe (sp)(gk) (Clermont), Quentin Braat (gk)(Niort) (both loans); Enoch Kwateng (r)(def) (Bordeaux)

Nantes will play their seventh-successive season of Ligue 1 football, but they cannot take anything for granted as they approach the latest campaign. The club does it under a cloud, with an open war between head coach Vahid Halilhodzic and the board – one that may yet result in a change in the dugout before the season starts. Halilhodzic has been left unimpressed by the club’s transfer policy this summer, which has seen them lose keystone defender Diego Carlos to Sevilla and Koffi Djidji to Torino, without reinvesting the money in any significant manner. Molla Wague and Dennis Appiah have been brought in on the cheap to help the defence, while the only other permanent signing of note has been winger Marcus Coco. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Alban Lafont will replace the released Ciprian Tatarusanu on loan, and Mehdi Abeid has arrived on a free transfer from Dijon. While the board wants the coach to use the club’s strong youth academy, he does not trust the young players and even last season did not exploit them fully – even when they were playing well. Offensively, this team looks light. Kalifa Coulibaly did a decent job of replacing Emiliano Sala in the second half of last term, but beyond him they do not possess a goalscorer of note, with the majority of options open to the coach very young indeed. Meanwhile, there is not an obvious threat from the midfield either. Nantes are packed with runners, although so far Valentin Rongier remains on their books, despite insisting before the summer he would leave. He is their best bet for goals from that area. Perhaps on the defence looks in finished shape as the beginning of the season approaches, with plenty of options across the spectrum of the back four. This area is liable to be the base around which the team is built. With the fans unhappy with the board’s plans to build a new stadium and unrest between the directors and the coach, conditions going into the new campaign could barely be any worse.

Target


Nantes will hope for a comfortable mid-table finish, but a fight against the drop seems just as likely in their current state. They are probably the most unstable club in Ligue 1 heading into the new season.

Season Review
2018/2019

№12: Nantes

Nantes’ campaign was dominated by the untimely passing of striker Emiliano Sala, who had been sold to Cardiff when his plane crashed in the English Channel. The club remain locked in a legal dispute over the transfer fee, but it took them many weeks to regain their composure properly on the field. Sala had been Nantes’ outstanding goal scorer in the first half of the season. They came into the campaign lacking a regular marksman but he defied expectations with a really efficient season in which he would have smashed his personal best goal tally. He played a big role in helping the club into a mid-table position after a dreadful start that saw head coach Miguel Cardoso rapidly sacked. Under the Portuguese, Nantes dominated possession but had no direction in terms of their attacking focus, Vahid Halilhodzic came to the club and helped to change that as he played in a more direct style, which suited the Argentine frontman. Nicolas Pallois was also recalled after being frozen out of the team under the Portuguese, with the centre-back once more an influential figure in the rearguard. This was an area of the team that had mixed reviews; Chelsea loanee Matt Miazga proved a very poor addition and was sent back to England early, while Diego Carlos had another solid season. Lucas Lima did not impose himself at left-back while Fabio took a long time to settle at the club on the right. This unsettled campaign rather mirrored that of the team. What stability they had was largely offered in the midfield, where Valentin Rongier was a consistently solid performer along with Abdoulaye Toure. They struggled to find regular partners as Rene Krhin spent much of the season injury and Andrei Girotto was prone to suspensions. In the wide areas, summer signings Anthony Limbombe and Gabriel Boschilia were largely disappointing. The former, a big-money signing, produced only a goal and an assist, while the latter, on loan from Monaco after serious injury, failed to find anything like his best level. Offensively, then, Nantes were forced to lean heavily upon Majeed Waris and Kalifa Coulibaly, who contributed well in the second half of the season. Youngster Samuel Moutossamy showed some promise at the end of the season, too. With no clear indication who will be in charge next season, and the fans in open revolt against the board, it could be a turbulent summer for Nantes, who are set to lose key man Rongier.


Player of the Season: Valentin Rongier

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