With eight goals since the start of the season, Gaëtan Laborde is surely going through the best form of his career but admits, lucidly, that the France team is still far away, like other players who shine in Ligue 1 like the Lensois Jonathan Clauss or Montpellier’s Teji Savanier.
Ligue 1 resumes its rights this Friday evening (Monaco-Lille, 14th day) after an international truce which saw the French team shine and qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Two offensive festivals against Kazakhstan (8-0) and Finland (0-2) that Gaëtan Laborde followed in front of his television. Without ulterior motive or heartache. « Honestly no, he replies. The France team, I don’t really think about it. But my entourage, yes. As soon as I return home to my family, I am asked. So the Blues, it’s for when? »
On paper, the reasons for believing may seem logical. At the age of 27, the Stade Rennais striker has made a great start to the season. Building on the momentum of his last exercise in Montpellier (18 goals, 9 assists), Laborde has been the spearhead of the unbeatable Rennes team for more than two months. The Bretons remain on a series of eight wins and two draws – Ligue 1 and Europa Conference League included – including two resounding successes against PSG (2-0) and especially against Lyon (4-1) at Roazhon Park. With in these two matches, a decisive Laborde. One goal, one pass, against PSG. A goal against Lyon.
« Rennes, the best choice to develop in your career »
Gaëtan Laborde has already scored 10 goals this season, including eight in Ligue 1, making him the top scorer in the championship (tied with Lille’s Jonathan David), and seems to have already passed a milestone by signing for Rennes. « I am not surprised, explains his former teammate in Montpellier Florent Mollet. Gaëtan is a winner. In the area, he is remarkable, always in the right place and he has this quality to feel the blows ».
The surface, precisely. Gaëtan Laborde is much closer to the goal since his arrival in Rennes, used as a center forward, « his favorite position », while he played more on one side with Montpellier. « He is totally fulfilled in sport and in human terms because he knows that he made the best choice to develop his career by choosing Rennes when he had better offers, particularly financial ones abroad, » assure his relatives.
« An exemplary mentality and constant progress »
Gaëtan Laborde is the striker who runs the most in Ligue 1 since the start of the season and his commitment involves the entire Rennes team. « Seeing him press constantly, he makes me want to surpass myself », admits his teammate Martin Terrier. « He has an exemplary mentality, confirms Michel Der Zakarian, his coach in Montpellier (now in Brest). He is a warrior who gives everything for the team and who technically is on constant progress. »
A state of mind and qualities which stick to what the coach Didier Deschamps wants, plead his relatives. Bruno Genesio, the Rennes coach, too. « No, it would not be an anomaly to see him called, confided the technician Thursday. He is the top scorer in the championship. He is decisive in Ligue 1 but also in the European Cup. After, we talk about the France team. It’s the highest level but I hope he will taste it one day. «
His name was not considered by the Blues staff for the November list
However, on the side of the staff of the Blues, the Laborde option does not seem relevant. His name was not mentioned during the preparation of the last list. Gaëtan Laborde has never received a pre-summons. Like Jonathan Clauss or Teji Savanier, his age and his profile stamped Ligue 1 seem to be a drag. Competition within the Blues too. « Obviously he cannot compete with a Benzema or a Kylian Mbappé but to apply for the group in relation to Ben Yedder, Martial … », try to convince his relatives.
Laborde knows it. To dream of the Blues, he will have to whip. « The France team, there are extraordinary players who can apply. There is a road that is still quite long I think. If I want to be there, I must first be efficient with my club in the duration and that’s what I’m thinking about first. «