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DECRYPTION: Rodon – Theate, maturity rather than experience

By recruiting Arthur Theate (22) and Joe Rodon (24), Stade Rennes is betting on the maturity of two players who have never played the very first roles, but who have a certain experience.

We are far from the hardworking jailers made in Ligue 1. On Wednesday, Florian Maurice presented in turn the two long-awaited recruits in central defense, Arthur Theate who arrived on Friday, and Joe Rodon formalized two days ago. Two players recruited much faster than the various files attempted by the SRFC, in particular Kim Min-Jae, having finally chosen Naples after a month of an endlessly exhausting soap opera. “We spent a lot of energy, not just on him but on a lot of issues. » admit Maurice. “The transfer window this year is very special. I couldn’t even explain it to you, how it works. I had a lot of trouble attracting, harpooning, getting people to come. »

It will therefore ultimately be Theate and Rodon. 22 years old and two real pro seasons in Ostend then Bologna for the first, 24 years old and only 15 Premier League games on the clock for the second. The two recruits, however, have for them to be international with Belgium and Wales. “We always talk about experience in terms of age. Joe played at Tottenham, at Swansea, he is a Welsh international, so he has quite a lot of high-level experience today. » plants Florian Maurice. “Obviously the number of games he has had in recent seasons is not necessarily like a 24-year-old player who had played all the games, or 27-28 years old. But I think the maturity of a player is as important as the playing time experience.”

We don’t talk about age

Maturity, experience therefore. But also motivation. For Theate, it is a springboard to reach even higher, enough to fuel even more a meteoric rise in two years, he who was far from appearing in the first choices in Belgium. For Rodon, it’s an opportunity to finally play the leading roles again, like at Swansea, which he was unable to do at Tottenham. For the technical director, both benefit from a “a state of mind that will allow them to return very quickly and bring some experience. » Clearly, Theate like Rodon have the fangs, if not the CV.

“I think going to play abroad, for every player it’s a good thing. It makes us grow, makes us improve our game. I will work to have as much playing time as possible. » poses soberly Joe Rodon, “right-hander who can also play on the left”, “in a defense at 4 or 3” according to Maurice. Versatile, like Theate, too “just as comfortable” in his words, in a defense at 3 (the one in which he has evolved the most) than at 4. On Saturday, Bruno Genesio ruled out the possibility for him of aligning a defense at 3, referring to “intelligence”, “adaptation” and to “automatisms to be acquired during training” for its defenders. It will therefore be a hinge with 2 centrals, where Theate and Rodon will compete with Badé, wandered between left and right axis since his arrival, Omari (right axis) and Belocian (left axis).

Bets to try

With a hinge of 21.4 years on its 5 players, Stade Rennes will no longer recruit in this sector according to the technical director. Steve Mandanda as a pledge of experience, a “rather number 8” box-to-box midfielder as well as a striker could arrive soon. The future of Hamari Traoré and Benjamin Bourigeaud is still unknown, “no decision making, or deadline. » says Maurice, even if the technical director warns: “From the moment we start the championship, we will finish the championship together. »

Uncertainty is therefore always on the eleven of the season, and the total experience from which he will benefit. But Rodon and “His size in the aerial field, a lot of defensive aggressiveness that we sometimes need”, like Theate and his “speed to manage depth, (his) quality to get the ball out” settle the file of central defenders, open for (too) long. More exactly since June 20, the day of formalization of the departure of Nayef Aguerd, for West Ham, for some 35 million euros. Aguerd, who arrived in Rennes in 2020 for 4 million euros, 25 Ligue 1 games then on the clock with Dijon. Something to make you want to bet again.


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