Stade Rennais – Montpellier – Is Laborde the most underrated player in Ligue 1?


It is pretty much the opposite of the idea we have of a goalscorer. Serving the collective, insatiable defender, normal man far from the clichés that escort success, Gaëtan Laborde merges into the crowd when his performances should make him one of the headliners of Ligue 1. It’s all the paradox from the center-forward of Stade Rennais, top scorer in the French championship after 13 days (8 goals), ahead of Kylian Mbappé, Wissam Ben Yedder, Lucas Paqueta and all those on whom the League capitalizes to sell its product.

No, Laborde is neither an accident nor a flash in the pan. With 16 goals and 8 caviars, he was already, last year, the fourth most decisive man in the championship. His transfer to Rennes in the last hours of the transfer window, while West Ham, the Zenith Saint Petersburg and even Lyon were, for a time, interested in him, was both one of the blows of the summer and a real one. surprise. Laborde could have aimed for the Champions League, he will be satisfied with the Europa Conference Conference. To the point of giving regrets to sports directors who missed it in July and August. It makes you wonder if the center forward of the Rouge et Noir is not today the most underrated player in the French championship.

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Les Rennais celebrate Gaëtan Laborde’s goal during the match between NS Mura at Stade Rennais, on October 21, 2021 in the Europa League Conference

Credit: Getty Images

It drags its ignition delay like a ball

At a time when we claim to be a candidate for the Ballon d’Or barely after having passed the majority, the late hatching of the kid from Mont-de-Marsan still puts him under the radar. It was not until his 24 years, loans in lower divisions and a choppy start to the adventure in Bordeaux to be considered an indisputable holder in Ligue 1 at a time when the under 20s rule and irrigate the world. Marlet. Laborde has never been a phenomenon of precocity, the fault of a tortuous course and it still drags this ignition delay which has also allowed it to put things into perspective, to stay in the real world.

« My journey and the very complicated moments that I went through, allowed me to stay down to earth, he told us last May. I use those moments. Sometimes I think to myself: ‘Remember where you were before’. Today, with what I’ve been through, it’s impossible to have a big head. « That is why he does not cultivate his image or capitalize on his statistics. Laborde, who experienced responsibilities very young and became a father at the age of 18, does not ask for anything but simply savor what he has for him. arrives with both feet anchored in the reality of a profession whose fragility he knows better than anyone.

Gaëtan Laborde with Stade Rennais

Credit: Getty Images

Bought at the same price as Niang and Guirassy …

Rennes recovered it this summer for 15 million euros. If the value of a player is judged by the price of his transfer, again, Laborde is undercut. In 2019, the SRFC spent the same amount for the significantly less profitable Mbaye Niang. Rebelote a year later with Serhou Guirassy. Today, the contribution of the two men to Rennes is incomparable. “The arrival of Gaëtan at the end of the transfer window was, I think, a trigger, confided his coach Bruno Genesio this week. speeches which are very brief but which mark. Or by his behavior on the field. When you have people like him, that helps and it is communicative. « 

If his statistics could open him an international future, the France team is still a distant horizon for those who still have not received the slightest pre-call. The sector is competitive among world champions. But does he have today to be ashamed of the comparison with Wissam Ben Yedder? Not sure. The two men do not have the same international experience or the same technical profile, but the wind has been blowing harder at Laborde’s back since August. To break the glass ceiling, he still needs to rub shoulders at the highest level, the Champions League. It is she, too, who builds reputations. That of Laborde would need it, she who still remains much too confidential in view of what he gives on the ground every weekend.

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