Squad, transfers and goals for the season

Condemned to play mid-table for many years, Valenciennes even played maintenance last season. With a small squad but quality players, Nicolas Rabuel had a lot of trouble getting his team to perform last season. Decimated in the transfer window with many registered departures, the Northerners will have to deal with all these issues for this new season which promises to be even more complicated than the previous ones. Zoom on the ambitions of the northern club and the workforce for the 2022/23 Ligue 2 season which opens this weekend.

The results of Valenciennes last season

In line with their results since their descent into Ligue 2 in 2014, the 2021/22 financial year was not a good year for the club from the North. Started badly from the start of the season with a lot of bad passes and big defeats (1-4 at home against Rodez, 3-0 in Amiens, 1-4 when they received Paris FC), only a few series of good results allowed the Valenciennes to hold the helm. Three consecutive successes, particularly in September against Bastia, Dijon and Caen, marked the start of a season which ultimately ended very close to the relegation zone.

In the end, it was two successes against Sochaux and Niort and a decisive Ugo Bonnet that enabled Valenciennes to finish in a worrying 16th place nevertheless synonymous with maintenance. Sixth worst attack in the championship and with a negative balance of 14 defeats for 10 victories, Valenciennes will have a lot to do to extricate themselves from this dangerous zone and not have another difficult season.

The movements of the off-season

The departures followed one another in this beginning of the transfer window in Valenciennes with in particular the transfers of Sambou Yatabaré and Aly Abeid, who left respectively for Sochaux and Arad in Romania. Arsène Elogo and Baptiste Guillaume, two important players last season, also left the Valenciennes ship by joining Le Puy in National and Guingamp.

On the arrivals side, the loan returns quickly flew away for permanent transfers (Kocik, Guel, Macalou, D’Almeida) while three players landed in the North, the former Brest doorman Gautier Larsonneur, the Lille Nassim Innocenti as well as Koly Soumaré, from the Entente Sannois Saint-Gratien.

Arrivals: Innocenti (Lille OSC), Larsonneur (Brest), Soumaré (SSG agreement), Rabuel, Viegbe, Touré, Zinga (reserve)

Departures : Yatabaré (Sochaux), Abeid (Arad), Elogo (Le Puy), Guillaume (Guingamp), Ouattara (Sheriff Tiraspol), Ntim (Caen), Robail, Chevalier (loan returns), Arib, Dos Santos (end of contract )

Valenciennes squad for the 2022/23 season

Guardians : Larsonneur, Konate

Defenders : Debuchy, Cuffaut, Innocenti, Lecoeuche, Vandenabeele, Rabuel, Soumaré

Environments : Boutoutaou, Hamache, Kaba, Diliberto, Masson, Picouleau, Linguet, Martin, Touré, Viegbe

Attackers : Ayite, Bonnet, Zinga

Valenciennes: ambitions and ranking

Given the significant departures and the limited renewal of the workforce, it seems quite complicated to imagine Valenciennes returning to the first part of the Ligue 2 table. Much less armed than all the teams competing for the climb (Grenoble, Sochaux , Amiens, Paris FC, …), Valenciennes should continue to fight to escape relegation once again as investments are rare and even if Nicolas Rabuel has been able to draw the quintessence of his workforce already on several occasions.

The player to watch: Joffrey Cuffaut, the defensive rock

Accustomed to placing himself to the left of the three-man defense imagined by Nicolas Rabuel last season, Joffrey Cuffaut, the former player of Nancy, has established himself as the goalkeeper of the northern defense, to the point of donning the captain’s armband.

Holder 35 times over the 38 days of last season, Joffrey Cuffaut will definitely be the decisive player to guarantee the solidity of the team and therefore its ability to start the season well against the big teams from the first meetings. (Bordeaux, Le Havre, Metz). He will nevertheless have to be well supported by his friends in central defense and in particular Eric Vandenabeele as well as the left piston Quentin Lecoeuche with whom he formed a very good duo last season.

The Valenciennes calendar for the 2022/23 season

First opponent of Bordeaux in a match that will be very followed and will smell good in Ligue 1, Valenciennes will have to do with a dantesque start to the season and very big posters. It is up to the Valenciennes to turn their backs and hope to glean a few points before tackling the clashes against direct opponents with a little less pressure and more confidence.

Day 1: 07/30/2022, Bordeaux – Valenciennes

Matchday 5: 27/08/2022, Valenciennes – Saint-Etienne

Matchday 11: 08/01/2022, Paris FC – Valenciennes

Day 21: 31/01/2023, Sochaux – Valenciennes

Matchday 29: 01/04/2023, Valenciennes – Paris FC

Matchday 38: 02/06/2023, Saint-Etienne – Valenciennes

Maxime Labrot

A big fan of sports of all kinds, Olympique de Marseille makes my heart beat, Benoît Paire takes my head and Tiger Woods makes me vibrate.

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