December 5, 2017
A fresh look
On Thursday, the Gym will travel to face Vitesse Arnhem for the final game of the Europa League group stage (kick-off at 9.05pm). Already qualified, the Aiglons will travel to the Netherlands will a youthful squad. Aside from the return of Wylan Cyprien, here is a look at the members of the club who will travel to the home of total football on Wednesday.
LLORIS, PERRAUD, COLY, MAKENGO...
Having already featured this season or in previous seasons, several youngsters will mark their return to the squad on Thursday. Gautier Lloris (22 years old) is one of them. An academy graduate, the solid centre back, who made his L1 debut during the 2015/16 season, has been playing with the Reserves for a couple of weeks.
After arriving from Brescia this summer, Racine Coly (21 years old) will also make the trip, in the same way as Romain Perraud (20 years old). Featuring in the first team last season against Krasnodar, the left-footed youth international, who has been a professional since the summer and now having impressed in the N2, will also travel to the Netherlands.
This is also the case for midfielder J.V. Makengo (19 years), who arrived from Caen this summer and has made one appearance in L1 (against St. Etienne where he came on for the last 15 minutes).
... AND THE NEW YOUNGSTER: LAMINE DIABY-FADIGA
Finally, Lucien Favre’s squad will see a new face join it: Lamine Diaby-Fadiga (16 years old). Born in 2001, the centre forward for the French U17s side (called up for the next set of youth internationals with the Bleuets) has been playing with the N2 and U19s this season. “He is a youngster from here, from Vallauris, he has been at the club from 13 years old, explains Alain Wathelet, the Gym’s Academy Director. At U15 level, in the regional sides, he was interesting but not as decisive as he is now. And no more decisive than the others from his generation. Then he came to the Academy, worked hard, developed and has surpassed others, by being very clever in front of goal.”
Although he has been playing with the U19s and the N2 since the start of the season, the forward has been training with the pros for a couple of weeks. “He knows how to score, to pass, to play with others and has an incredible left foot”, continued Wathelet. Before concluding with several precise areas for improvement: “He is in full ascendency, in full development stage, but he isn’t completely mature yet, especially in terms of his physical attributes. He has a powerful body (1.88m, 82kg), b which he still needs to develop. Then, for him to be a player of the highest level, he will of course, need the mental side of things to follow and not to fall complacent like all talented players."