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ASSE version 2022-23 is taking shape

ASSE is in redemption. This season, the Greens want to redeem themselves, those who went through hell during the 2021-22 financial year. After a complicated first half of the season punctuated by the dismissal of Claude Puel, the Stéphanois hoped to start again with Pascal Dupraz. But the French technician did not work miracles and Saint-Étienne finished the year in eighteenth place in the standings. In this slump, there was therefore a tiny hope that the Loire club would manage to stay in Ligue 1. But Saint-Étienne failed in the play-offs against Auxerre, therefore promoted to the elite.

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A terrible blow for the club from Saint-Etienne, which has nevertheless been present in L1 for eighteen consecutive seasons. This relegation also provoked the anger of some of the supporters, who had invaded the lawn of Geoffroy-Guichard during the return barrage against AJA. This had disastrous consequences for ASSE since the LFP Disciplinary Committee sanctioned the club for “six penalty points, including three suspended, applicable to the 2022-2023 season, and six games behind closed doors at the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium, including two suspended”.

Batllès wants a mix between experienced players and young people trained at home

In this tense climate, the shareholders, Bernard Caïazzo and Roland Romeyer, did not choose the best timing to communicate on the club’s takeover project. Indeed, they announced it in a press release published the same day of the officialization of the descent in L2. But as on the sports field, the French team has failed for the moment since David Blitzer, a takeover candidate, has not made an offer. ASSE also indicated via a press release published on July 2 that no proposal had been made so far. It is therefore in this context that Saint-Étienne will try to rebuild itself.

Under construction, the Saint-Etienne club has nevertheless launched its takeover mission, since the objective is to find the L1 as quickly as possible and win back the hearts of the supporters under the orders of Laurent Batllès. The new coach of the Greens confided during his presentation: “There is a two-year project. Of course, the ambition is to be competitive, to be as high as possible, but I worked in stages when I was in Troyes. I will proceed in the same way by making a point every ten days. Anyway, you have to be positive and in the fight. We will have to build a cohesive team. We will try to put an ambitious game project”. The idea would be to make a mix between experienced elements and young people from the training.

Five recruits have already arrived

“We want players who know the championship but also the top of the table. We want to build a competitive team with elements that want to move forward. You have to take the time to do things with humility. We must not believe that our status as a historic club will give us results. It’s the work that will enable us to achieve our objectives (…) Today, we cannot have an efficient training center and not use it. We would like to have 14 to 15 L1/L2 players and supplement them with young players to reach 21 players. We have to use our best young people. We deliberately left empty lockers in the locker room of the professionals. It’s up to them to get them”.

Batllès wants to open the group. Several young people have therefore signed their first professional contract this summer, such as Louis Mouton, Ayman Aiki or Lucas Calodat. On the arrivals side, the Saint-Etienne leaders have not been idle either since five recruits have landed this summer. Dylan Chambost, Anthony Briançon and Jimmy Giraudon were joined on Wednesday by Mathieu Cafaro, on loan with an option to buy from Standard de Liège, and Victor Lobry, who has signed until 2024. At the same time, ASSE continues its intensive downsizing .

Degreasing to be managed in parallel

Indeed, the club wanted to get rid of fourteen players at the end of last season, not counting Joris Gnagnon who had terminated his lease. In addition to the four elements on loan, namely Bernardoni, Crivelli, Falaye Sacko and Thioub, ten players at the end of the contract left like Eliaquim Mangala, Ryad Boudebouz, Romain Hamouma, who spun to Ajaccio, or Wahbi Khazri and Arnaud Nordin. The last two cities have also joined Montpellier.

Great hope of the Greens, Lucas Bourna-Douath, he went to RB Salzburg for 13 million euros. Denis Bouanga has the door wide open. The Gabonese is notably tracked by Borussia Mönchengladbach according to our information. Yvan Neyou, associated with Clermont Foot, or even Adil Aouchiche, who will not be selected according to Progress, are also affected by the transfer market. Launched in its takeover mission, AS Saint-Étienne has already made good progress on the huge project that the transfer window represents.

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