Admittedly, Racing, 16th in L1, is approaching the return phase overlooking the relegation zone. But with a meager savings of fifteen units and the sole benefit of a better goal difference than those of Brest and AC Ajaccio, the 19th, Auxerre, only pointing to two lengths. The next few weeks will therefore be decisive.
In particular for Julien Stéphan’s ex-assistant (dismissed on January 9), Mathieu Le Scornet (39), confirmed interim coach number 1, without official communication, after the draw against Lens (2-2, January 11) and success in Lyon (2-1, on the 14th). “ I remain in the mission set by the president, to prepare the team so that it performs as well as possible”, soberly declared the Breton on Friday, aware that his position remained fragile.
Departures to quickly digest
The support of the players, decisive in its maintenance by Marc Keller – who was considering an external solution (Sabri Lamouchi, who has just signed in Cardiff City, D2 ANG) – must quickly result in other victories. Especially at home, where Racing has still not won (6 draws, 4 losses) and receives two direct competitors: Toulouse this afternoon then Montpellier, next Sunday.
Even if these two players showed themselves in decline, sales midfielder Adrien Thomasson (29 years old, in Lens, for €4.5 million) and of centre-forward Ludovic Ajorque (28 years old, in Mainz for €6.5 million) are not insignificant. Because they were two important pillars of the Alsatian locker room since their arrival in 2018.
“It shows others that the RCSA is scrutinized and can allow individuals to reveal themselves to take a step in clubs with higher ambitions”, positive Le Scornet. In the meantime, knowing that the departure of right-back Ronaël Pierre-Gabriel (on loan this summer from Mainz, who redirected to Espanyol Barcelona) go more unnoticed, they must be replaced.
Recruits to integrate quickly
This will not necessarily be the case for Ajorque, even if the club is still looking for a striker, after the arrival of Japanese attacking midfielder Yuito Suzuki (21, on loan from Shimizu, D2), not immediately operational. On the other hand, Morgan Sanson (28, on loan from Aston Villa) succeeds in a straight line to Thomasson and should appear today.
As Ukrainian international left-back Eduard Sobol (27 years old, 27 caps), from Club Brugge for €2.5m (Thomas Delaine, with an Achilles tendon injury being unavailable for two months), and Frédéric Guilbert (28), right-back released by Aston Villa, back. Faced with the urgency of their integration, the coach announces: “They know the context, living it will be something else…”
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