Nice

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Ligue 1

Round 9

Paris St Germain 2 - 1 Nice
2022-10-01 20:00 More Reports
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Ligue 1

Round 10

2022-10-09 14:00:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2022/2023

Nice

In


Rares Ilie (mid) (Rapid); Marcin Bulka (gk) (PSG); Badredine Bouanani (att) (Lille)

Out


Walter Benitez (k)(gk) (PSV); Andy Pelmard (sp)(def) (Basel); Dan Ndoye (sp)(mid) (Basel); Evann Guessand (sp)(att) (Nantes, loan); Juen N’Guessan (mid) (Nimes, loan); Ihsan Sacko (mid) (released)

Nice is a club where there are now elevated expectations following the takeover from Jim Ratcliffe a handful of years ago. They have steadily progressed but have struggled to reach their promise. The Champions League should have been attainable last season, but they faltered at the last and have had to settle for fifth. Nevertheless, that is their best position in five years. There has been some upheaval over the summer months, too. Head coach Christophe Galtier has gone to PSG and has been replaced by Lucien Favre, who led the club to third in 2017 by playing an exciting brand of football. This should lead to a significant change of style in the team, too. Nice have lost only one pertinent member of their squad over the summer, with goalkeeper Walter Benitez leading to join PSV on a free transfer. Frustratingly, Nice have yet to secure a replacement, and that is something that could undermine them in the early weeks of the season. Some strong names are being discussed in relation to the post but nothing has been signed. Instead, Marcin Bulka is likely to start in goal after making his loan from PSG permanent. Otherwise, Nice have signed up only prospects this summer. Rares Ilie has joined from Rapid Bucharest while Badredine Bouanani, who is a highly rated teenager, arrives from Lille. Neither can expect to have a big impact on the first team. Less Aiglons still have a strong squad. It will be spearheaded by the excellent Andy Delort, while Amine Gouiri has been linked with a summer move away but remains for now. These players are the basis of their attacking work and should benefit from the coaching change. Nice are not short of quality or numbers in terms of the central midfielders they possess, although they are arguably lacking in a capable No.10 should they wish to move into a 4-2-3-1 formation. Equally, on the wings they can be a little erratic. Defensively, meanwhile, there are fitness issues with capable right-back Youcef Atal, while captain Dante is now 38. He is winning his battle with age for now, but how long can he keep going? These two question marks hang over the team, and along with the goalkeeper issue mean they are not going into the season in prime condition.

Target


Nice will be aiming for the top three, but Europe would do.

Season Review
2020/2021

№9: Nice

Hopes were high for Nice at the start of the season as one of Ligue 1’s richest clubs, with a bright crop of young players and a place in the Europa League. Ultimately, though, the campaign boiled down to disappointment, with head coach Patrick Vieira sacked after a wretched run of results and replaced by right-hand man Adrian Ursea, who fared a little better. Under Vieira, Nice placed a premium on retaining possession, but they forgot to score goals, making them both unsuccessful and boring – a potently bad combination. There were numerous low moments, including a 6-2 thrashing by Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League, a competition Nice lost five of six in, despite having the potential to qualify from a relatively kind group. Domestically, meanwhile, Vieira lasted only until a 3-1 home defeat by bottom side Dijon. It was not until the final third of the season that Ursea started to turn things around, aided by major surgery to the defence in January, which saw them bring in William Saliba and Jean-Clair Todibo from Arsenal and Barcelona respectively. Both performed well. Amine Gouiri was undoubtedly the star performer, one of the few players to justify the investment made in him. He returned 16 goals and was also very creative. Morgan Schneiderlin arrived in midfield from Everton but was disappointing in terms of his technical contribution. He played largely because of his experience amid a young side. Meanwhile, that sector was hindered by a long-term injury to Jeff Reine-Adelaide and latterly Alexis Claude-Maurice. The defence was also hit by a serious injury to Dante, while Youcef Atal, who is arguably their best player, did not get a consistent run of games because of injury. Nevertheless, summer signings Jordan Lotomba and Robson Bambu struggled to make an impact in this area. Nice are set for changes in the summer, with Ursea to leave and the prospect of appointing Christophe Galtier. Certainly, the core ingredients of a strong squad are here but they need reinforced mentally and ideally with a couple more effective players.


Player of the Season: Amine Gouiri

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