A week after his first start with Losc, the young goalkeeper Lucas Chevalier will once again keep Lille’s cage against Toulouse on Saturday (9:00 p.m.) for the 8th day.
Lille-Toulouse. Saturday evening will mark a great first at home for Lucas Chevalier who put in a solid performance on the lawn of Marseille despite the defeat (2-1). A childhood dream, above all. A native of Calais, the goalkeeper had declined the advances of Lens as a teenager to join Lille, his favorite club. And quickly rose through the ranks, making his debut with the reserve team at 16. Very convincing in National 2, he was then barred by the presence of Mike Maignan in the first team. Regularly on the bench as a back-up for the tricolor international in 2020/21, he preferred to go on loan to Valenciennes last season to save playing time.
It was on the heels of very good performances in Ligue 2 that the 20-year-old goalkeeper returned to Losc this summer to compete with the most experienced Léo Jardim, seven years his senior and number 1 at the start of the season. « It’s a question of experience, Lucas is also a good goalkeeper but we have to find the right moment“, had advanced Paulo Fonseca, the new Lille coach, before the first day of the season. A frustrating episode for Chevalier, who even asked to go down in reserve to play the derby against Lens at the end of August, finally cut short by the many mistakes of Jardim. After 6 difficult matches, where he stopped only 31% of the shots faced, the Brazilian had to give way to the French. « Léo is a great professional, I made the decision before the match in Marseille, I explained to him and he understood the situation perfectly.“, explained Fonseca to the press on Friday.
Before the game, a lot of people were wondering if it was the right time because it was against Marseille.
Despite the risk of such a rapid change, with consequences difficult to anticipate if the number 2 does not give satisfaction either, the Portuguese coach did not hesitate to decide in favor of the Northerner. « Before the game, a lot of people were wondering if it was the right time because it was against Marseille. But me, I was confident vis-à-vis him, because of his personality“said the coach on the club website last Saturday. Repeated remarks to the media six days later: “He will play tomorrow (Saturday) because he had a good game in Marseille. It was a difficult encounter but he made the right decisions, showing courage and personality« . Traits that he will have to keep in a much more favorable atmosphere at the Decathlon Arena-Stade Pierre-Mauroy.
Adored by the supporters, who have been singing to his glory since the start of the season and supporting him in numbers on social networks, he must also embody the revival of local training. Abandoned during the presidency of Gérard Lopez, to the point that no player left the center had started a Ligue 1 match with Losc since Imad Faraj in January 2018, young people have a card to play within a club in full course of economic austerity. International from U16 to U20, Lucas Chevalier can also dream of a blue future. Called up in March but absent from the last list of hopefuls, he knows that good performances could offer him a ticket for the Euro in the category next June.