Who will be your young player of the 2022/2023 season?
As the 2022/2023 season draws to a close, OGC Nice is asking you to vote for your young player of the season. Who will succeed Khephren Thuram?
Like every season, in May, the Gym fans are called upon to vote for the young player of the season. This year, six members of the current squad, born after 1 January 2001 and having played in Ligue 1 this season, are up against each other.
THURAM TO WIN TWO IN A ROW?
He is the favourite to win the award. Khephren Thuram, who received 72% of last season's votes for young player of the season, has turned a corner in 2022/2023. The midfielder has impressed with his consistency. Indeed, the midfielder has impressed with his consistency. With only four games left to play, the Gym's number 19 has played in every game (46) played by the Aiglons this season, being the only Nice player to do so. In addition, Thuram has played in the majority of these games as a starter (42).
As well as being the Gym's top assister, with 8 assists, "Kheph" also became a French international last March. A further achievement enough to win the award again?
BOUANANI FINISHES STRONG
Three years younger than Thuram, Badredine Bouanani is also a serious contender for the award. The 18-year-old Lille-trained winger signed his first professional contract with OGC Nice last summer. After spending the first half of the season in the reserve team, the new Algerian international took advantage of Didier Digard's confidence to make his debut in the top flight on 11 January against Montpellier (MD18, 6-1).
He provided an assist that night, followed by three more in the following games, and "Bad" never left the pro squad. Impressive in terms of his speed and technical ability, the young Aiglon is finishing the season strongly and has already made an impression on Nice fans, notably thanks to his equaliser against Clermont (J32, 1-2) and his gift to Gaëtan Laborde against Rennes (J34, 2-1).
TWO RECRUITS NOMINATED
Two players signed by the Gym last summer could also win. Alexis Beka Beka, who joined from Lokomotiv Moscow, has made 19 appearances for the club this season and scored a goal that will live long in the memory of Nice. The 22-year-old midfielder scored the winner in the second leg of the Conference League play-off against Maccabi Tel Aviv (0-1, 2-0 a.e.t.), and his curling shot into the top corner of the net was enough to send the Aiglons through to the group stages.
Mattia Viti, meanwhile, has made 12 appearances for the Aiglons since joining from Empoli. The central defender, who is solid in duels and elegant on the ball, has started eight games and scored once, against Troyes (J10, 3-2).
THE YOUTH ACADEMY REWARDED?
Finally, two players from the youth academy are also nominated and hope to become the first players trained at the club to be named Espoir of the season since Malang Sarr in 2018/2019.
Antoine Mendy and Reda Belahyane, both 18, have played their first minutes in professional football this season. The former was launched into Ligue 1 by Lucien Favre on 16 October 2022 at Auxerre (J11, 1-1) before taking part in 14 other games. The left-back was particularly impressive at Lens (J21, 0-1), where he was voted Aiglon of the match and provided an assist for Gaëtan Laborde, before repeating the feat the following week at the Velodrome for Billal Brahimi (J22, 1-3).
Belahyane has made four appearances this season. The talented Gym midfielder took advantage of his first start of the season at Brest (J31, 1-0) to showcase his technical skills and temperament in duels, so much so that he was named the Aiglon of the match.