Lille OSC – Season 2020/21
After the first full season at the French club, Jake Sullivan knew what positions he needed the most reinforcements for and which players he would definitely not use. Compared to last year’s transfer window, this time there were many more moves.
The manager wanted to complete the staff as soon as possible, which is why the purchases started in June. The most important purchases were:
- Amine Gouiri, 20 years, French young forward, bought from Lyon
- Kelvin Amian, 22 years, strengthening right defense
- Edinson Cavani, 33 years, contracted for free
- Sergio Gomez, 19 years, bought from Borussia Dortmund, to compete with Villar in the midfield
- Franco Cervi, 26 years, right wing reinforcement
- Benoit Badiashile, 19 years, bought from Monaco, considered a future star in the center of defense
- Dario Maresic, 20 years, step up defense right away
Such a number of transfers would not be possible without saying goodbye to a few players. After buying a new right-back, Sullivan decided to get rid of all 3 existing defenders: Celik, Pied, Stolarski, for a total amount of €11 milion. Already at the beginning of transfer window, Goncalo Paciencia was sold after less than a year, which turned out to be a missed transfer. The most important transfers were the sale of two midfielders, due to the amount of money Lille cannot refuse:
- Thiago Maia, €20.5 milion to China
- Xeka, €15 milion to Burnley
This intense window was risky due to the new players having to team up. The average age of the players brought in was very positive for the future. There was a desire to build a squad around young, not yet promoted players.
First part of season
If someone compared the result after the first half of the 2020/21 season with the same period of the previous season, without checking what changes took place in the club in the summer, he might think that Lille is leading a new manager with a completely new 11. The first 19 games gave 40 points, 14 more than a year ago. The results were as follows:
- 12 Lille wins
- 4 draws
- Only 3 losses
The French club scored its first loss of point in their fifth match, beating Marseille and Bordeaux on the way.
The lack of cups in this first part of the season definitely helped to keep the timing, training patterns and scoring a lot of points. The fans could definitely be satisfied and wait for further matches.
Second part of season
The rest of the season was as successful as its start. 38 points, again only 3 defeats. The 3rd place at the end of the season, only 9 points behind the leader, PSG, is an amazing progress from last season. The management certainly does not regret giving Sullivan another chance. The matches to be highlighted are:
- PSG away, drawn 1-1
- Bordeaux away, won 3-1, with all goals in the first half
- Monaco in Lille, won 2-0
- Ending the season at Lille stadium by winning 4-1 against Marseille
In addition to a good result in the league, Sullivan led the young guys to the French Cup semi-finals, losing just 2-3 to Monaco there.
The best player of the season was again Villar, who focused this season primarily on the last passes, which he gathered as many as 10 in the league. Renato Sanches gave Gonzalo the opportunity to play closer to the attackers and earned an average of 7.09 with his hard work in each match. In addition to the fantastic two in the midfield, the best marks for this season were received by all three central defenders:
- Gabriel, 34 matches, average 7.03
- Maresic, 36 matches, average 7.06
- Dialo, 6 matches, average 7.12
Analyzing the top scorers in all competitions, it looks like this:
- Bamba, 36 matches, 14 goals
- Ikone, 32 matches, 11 goals
- Cavani, 37 matches, 10 goals
- Osimhen, 27 matches, 10 goals
Very good and quick chemistry, especially in defense, allowed for such good results. The main task for the manager is to set the front in such a way that in the next season in that formation there will be players with an average rating above 7.00.