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    Before Lens – Lille: Why Jonathan Ikoné can no longer do it since his stint in the France team


    Two years ago, almost to the day, he was the man who was worth over 70 million euros. On September 16, 2019 to be exact, Gérard Lopez, then president of Lille, revealed in the columns of Le Figaro that he had refused such an offer “from Italy“for Jonathan Ikoné. Since then, water has flowed under the bridges, the pandemic and its economic crisis have passed through there, Lille was crowned champion of France after having sold (and bought) with a vengeance. Ikoné, him , is still there.

    A player of great talent, also born in Bondy – as you know who – the attacking midfielder is struggling to find his best level. The one who allowed him to be called by Didier Deschamps, after his best statistical season in Ligue 1 (3 goals and 9 assists), and to play four matches with the France team between August and September 2019.

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    The position … and the attitude

    At 23, he is now struggling to regain an indisputable status at LOSC. “He is a very talented player, he was regular during the summer, noted his trainer Jocelyn Gourvennec. He was very good during the break, got rid of his ankle worries. I spoke with him about what he had done in Lille to go to the France team. If it is no longer there, it is because it has been inconstant, irregular. I discussed it with him. “

    The observation does not date from yesterday and, paradoxically, his performances during the previous season were less consistent, despite the title of champion of France won by Lille. Regularly installed a notch higher on the ground since the arrival of Gourvennec, Ikoné struggles to find his bearings. Facing Nice, on the second day, he was replaced at the break in the midst of the Lille shipwreck. Aligned alongside Burak Yilmaz, he found himself most often in the right lane, close to Tim Weah.

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    Christophe Galtier was already struggling to find the right formula to take advantage of the player’s qualities of speed and percussion while increasing his performance. “It must adapt when it plays in the axis, on the side while entering in the axis or on the side to give width, said in December 2020 the one who is today the coach of Nice. Even if he is more comfortable in the heart of the game, because it is a game accelerator. “


    Sometimes it feels like it’s easy

    Beyond the technical aspect, it is also the state of mind of the player that raises questions. In recent months, he hasn’t always had the commitment to aim higher. “He also has to put more determination because he has a lot of talent, observed Gourvennec recently. Sometimes it feels like it’s easy. And he is aware of it. ”

    And if he still did not have enough impact in the game this week against Wolfsburg this week in the Champions League (0-0), he at least had the merit of leveling up in intensity . But he will need even more to weigh on the hot derby of the North, in Lens.

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