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The undulations of the Clermont Foot transfer window

Cédric Hountondji did not play against Grenoble at Chambon or against UNFP at Vichy. He did not even deign to move on the banks of the Allier alongside his teammates… A dotted recovery which also awkwardly masks a desire elsewhere for the Beninese central defender dredged up by Angers. “I do not express myself on the subject, he has not left yet”, soberly commented on Friday, Pascal Gastien, his trainer without masking a certain point of irritation.

This new start, if confirmed, would cause trouble so close to recovery. “It’s not easy,” commented the coach soberly at the very beginning of the week, when he was still waiting for a large central defender as reinforcements and we were already discussing this possible scenario with him. There, it would be necessary to find two centrals in a visibly complicated market… At the club, some hope that Hountondji will stay, perhaps at the cost of an extension…

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With Hountondji, but already Abdul Samed (Lens) and Bayo (Lille), in addition to the goalkeeper, Clermont would lose his backbone from last year. If for the striker with 14 goals things were clear, the leaks of the very young defensive midfielder (who had signed his first professional contract in Clermont) and the Beninese international (extension last season) did not necessarily seem so obvious.

The CF63, it’s also true, communicated very quickly and very early on arrivals. One a day at the end of June! Again, only free and free players. But Diaw (goalkeeper), Zeffane and Neto Borges (sides) only made up for the departures of Desmas, Zedadka and Nsimba. We can obviously see the good side with the XXL replacement of a defense having conceded the trifle of 69 goals! Only Bordeaux and Sainté had done worse in Ligue 1…

The leaders of Clermont have above all, to date, made money

But what challenges, in addition to the obvious cohesion to be put in place with the new three weeks before the launch of the L1, is that Hountondji appeared a notch above with, as a symbol, his injury in Saint- Étienne when Clermont led 0-2. With, on arrival, a bitter collapse (3-2). Under these conditions, how to interpret his probable departure from a more or less direct competitor in maintaining?

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Clermont Foot should very quickly communicate on reinforcements. Because there is a form of urgency while in parallel, his renewal campaign starts and a doubt can creep in among the supporters. Serbian striker Andric had his medical on Friday afternoon. He will replace Bayo for a transfer estimated at 1.5 M€ max… Gonalons, he arrived free from Granada (Liga). Suffice to say that the leaders of Clermont have, to date, mainly made money (more than 20 M€ this summer without counting the League endowment of 16.5 M€ which will inflate the accounts on July 26).

“You have to make a financial effort. The club have to make the effort and I think they will.”

The coach’s message couldn’t be clearer. It will be heard, but in what proportions? Because Gastien must paradoxically juggle with a workforce deemed to be overstaffed. In quantity, of course. Gastien father is counting on the departure of “seven or eight players”. Will everyone find a base? Not obvious, even if some are clearly leaving. Those who won’t be traveling to Rodez today and Millau on Wednesday can worry about pimpernel…

Because he has to manage a cohabitation which can harm the group responsible for saving his skin in L1 in this crazy year and all the dangers with, it should be remembered, four direct descents! The supporters especially hope that the profile of the recruits still tracked will quickly bring them answers.

Valery Lefort



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