The shock of this fourth day of Ligue 1 between OM and Lille opposes two interesting teams, but who seek each other offensively. Difficulties in scoring illustrated by their two center-forwards, not yet fully launched in this new season. A position that is however the subject of a lot of attention, in both clubs.
Three games, respectively seven and six points taken – including a resounding victory at the Parc des Princes, for the Marseillais -: this OM-Lille opposes two teams with an encouraging start to the season. But, there is a but. A big but, even. Because the two formations are still struggling to fully express a particularly provided offensive potential, on both sides: three goals for the men of Christophe Galtier against four for those of Villas-Boas, and especially center-forwards not yet in the rhythm . In the North, the arrival of Jonathan David raised important hopes, not yet rewarded even if the time of adaptation of the Canadian to Ligue 1 is far from illogical. On the Canebière, Darío Benedetto is no longer indisputable. Evidenced by his non-tenure against PSG, the club again considering investing in a position that has been debated for several seasons.
A dynamic that leaves much to be desired
Against Metz, Lille dominated and overall mastered its subject in the game by hitting sixteen times on goal. All this to win by the smallest of margins, on a pawn of Luis Araújo in the last minutes. The Mastiffs give the impression of struggling in their collective offensive performances and of relying on individual exploits to make a difference, as was the case with Jonathan Bamba a week earlier in Reims. Solidly supported by a very effective Osimhen-Rémy duo last season, Lille must now reinvent themselves in this position. Burak Yılmaz and Jonathan David landed at Luchin Estate surrounded by many hopes, but they are still slow to materialize. “He is young, he seems to be quite impervious to the pressure linked to the amount of his transfer. He knows he is far from his level, but that he can count on me and his partners, assured this Friday Christophe Galtier at a press conference, about the twenty-year-old Canadian international. He had a truncated preparation: while waiting for a transfer, in training we are less in it. He arrived with a deficit of everything, which means that he needs sessions and especially games. ”
No worries therefore for the former coach of the Greens, despite an influence in the game still largely perfectible for his new recruit who has only struck three times on goal in 216 minutes of play so far (only touching around twenty balls on average, per game). On the Olympian side, the debut of Darío Benedetto’s second season is also complicated, although the reasons are partly different. Author of only four goals in 2020 and while he has not shaken the nets since February 28 (treble against Nîmes), the Argentinian was little inspired during the resumption match in Brest where we especially saw Florian Thauvin take the game on his own. Replacing in Paris on a tactical choice of Villas-Boas, his expulsion at the end of the meeting deprived him of the reception of Saint-Étienne in the wake and of an opportunity to finally succeed in convincing. Behind the scenes, OM does not hide its intention to find a competitor by the end of the transfer window.
Darío and Jonathan at the center of attention
“We are ready to make an investment in the attacking position, we need it. (…) If we invest in a striker, he will come to compete with Benedetto, and competition is an essential principle of sport. ” The statement, signed new head of football local Pablo Longoria, beginning of September. It has, in any case, the merit of being clear: no, the formergoal scorer de Boca Juniors has no reserved place in the starting XI and will have to roll up their sleeves. After attempts by Valère Germain, Kóstas Mítroglou or Mario Balotelli, OM finally thought they had found their Grantatakan with the Argentinian? Everything is now called into question, with a year 2020 that is too little prolific. Even André Villas-Boas recognizes it, an arrival at this post would not be a refusal: “In the next few days, maybe the next few weeks, I hope to bring in the striker we have chosen. ”
In Lille too, this post received the greatest attention. Last summer already, LOSC separated from Rafael Leão, heading for AC Milan, and offered themselves the good pick Victor Osimhen from Charleroi. The shattering debut of the Nigerian, sold at a high price a year later in Naples, contrasts today with those more winded by Jonathan David, also a revelation of the Belgian Jupiler Pro League. Especially since the Mastiffs have put the means to convince the leaders of La Gantoise, reluctant to release their nugget at any cost. Result of the races: a transfer to 30 million euros, the most expensive in the history of the club, and therefore a status that goes with it.
A match to start it all?
If the start of the season for the two fellows leaves something to be desired, it would nevertheless be quickly forgotten if they were to launch the machine in the coming weeks. And what better way to do this than a clash between contenders for Europe, at the Vélodrome? Not much. “There will be a reaction of pride, it’s always like that. This time around, the coach will start with a real top striker. Which was not the case, in the two previous matches, still analyzes Christophe Galtier, after two games started without a real point by the Portuguese. There will be more intensity and aggressiveness on the part of Marseille. ” Symbolized by a revengeful return of the Argentine international?
Revenge, there will also be opposite where the doublet Yılmaz-David will finally want to demonstrate its full potential. “I want to progress, and become better. Frankly, it was time for a new challenge, launched the Canadian, during his presentation in his new colors to the media. I know how to find positions to score goals, it is one of my strengths and I believe that I can play in any system. ” The time has come to demonstrate it … With, at random, a double?
By Tom Binet