Football: Nîmes Olympique, a lesser evil for Thomasen, Benrahou and Eliasson in the starting gate

Nîmes Olympique (10th after three days in Ligue 2) and its coach are advancing with a new group, while taking care not to be held back by those who want to leave, namely Benrahou and Eliasson.

There is no fire at Lac de la Bastide, around which the Crocos trained this Tuesday morning. The hour would be rather with the deluge, moreover. Defeat, draw, victory, Nîmes Olympique is “on the upward slope, both in terms of accounting and of the game”, appreciates Nicolas Usaï. If the coach is happy with a “group with players from lower divisions and therefore in the learning phase, like Ronny Labonne who gives me complete satisfaction and can play everywhere (he entered the middle Saturday against Rodez, Editor’s note)”, he is annoyed, not to say irritated, by the desire to leave of some.

Eliasson, who had extended and been upgraded, is under contract until 2024

This has been going on since his appointment in early January. Cubas did not finish last season, leaving to seek their fortune in the American championship, in Vancouver. Benrahou and Eliasson started the news in Nîmes… with the intention of pursuing it elsewhere. Even if, this summer, Usaï took the Swede back to his “council of wise men” (with Benezet, Poulain, Fomba, Tchokounté and Maraval), he gave up trying to convince him to stay. “Keeping a player who wants to leave is not desirable. In everyone’s interest, it would be better to find a solution quickly. And (if necessary) replace them, ”recognizes the coach.

Foreign clubs, including AEK Athens, already interested last summer, are tracking Eliasson. Without the offers having so far influenced President Rani Assaf, who is in a position of strength: he extended (until 2024) and upgraded the left-hander last year, following the Greek offensive.

Loan and extension for Benrahou?

The Benrahou case is different: his contract ended in June. If a Dutch D1 team made an offer, it was only a loan with an option to buy (just over €1m, for a player bought 1.5 M€, but in the world before Covid). His entourage is pushing for this loan, which would then be accompanied by a one-year contract extension with NO (until 2024). To resell Benrahou elsewhere if the Batavian club did not exercise the option. If it is in everyone’s interest…

Training this Wednesday (in camera) and Thursday (open) at 9 a.m. The croco staff is also considering the recruitment of an additional central defender. An experienced French track (a left-hander who can play lateral or axial) has recently cooled off, his club asking for a small transfer fee one year from the end of the player’s contract. A French attacking midfielder is also in NO’s sights, while Pagis (Lorient) is “one hypothesis among others” according to a Gard leader.

Benezet trains normally, Thomasen out for two weeks

As expected, Nicolas Benezet returned to collective training on Tuesday (Monday was dedicated to care and to those who did not start on Saturday against Rodez). The one who was promoted to captain before the start of the season played only six minutes in the league but should return to the group in Dijon on Saturday. He has the medical green light.

Touched in the shoulder facing the Raf, Thomasen had a CT scan yesterday, which confirmed the acromioclavicular sprain, without fracture or affected ligament. The Dane is arrested for two weeks. After his calf injury, Ueda resumed running. The Japanese will be operational at the beginning of September. De Gevigney manages his ankle, victim of a big sprain at the end of last season and still sometimes painful. He was off on Tuesday. And Doucouré? No more no less !



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