Talent and perseverance are the two key ingredients to the success of RC Lens star Jonathan Clauss.
At 28, Clauss is enjoying his first season in Ligue 1 Uber Eats. With three goals and six assists, the wing-back has been the star man for Lens. The pacy number 11 is even the best outfield player in Ligue 1 according to the religiously followed ratings in sports daily L’Equipe.
“I used to struggle to get good stats, but now I’m scoring and assisting. The team is on a very good run, and I’m playing well. That’s good news for everyone,” Clauss told The Ligue 1 Show on beIN Sports ahead of his team’s trip to the capital to play Paris Saint-Germain this weekend.
Wing-back Clauss bombs up and down the Lens right flank every weekend. He covers more than 10 kilometres a game, and performs 20 sprints on average, more than any other Lens player.
“Jo’s been playing well for some time now. The role is perfect for him. He’s really able to express his qualities,” said coach Franck Haise.
What stands out in Clauss is his determination, something he has needed to show plenty of since being released by his hometown team, RC Strasbourg Alsace, aged 17. He played amateur football before getting his chance in the German second tier with Arminia Bielefeld aged 26, and that’s where Lens spotted him.
When Clauss returned to Strasbourg in Lens colours earlier this season, he set up both goals in an emotion-filled 2-1 win.
“It’s crazy. When I arrived at the stadium I was talking to my best mate and I said to him ‘I could cry right now, coming back here!’ This was my life. It was my boyhood dream to play here. So to come here with Lens, and to set up two goals and to win, it’s literally a dream come true,” he said.
Clauss has needed to show patience but now he’s finally thriving in football, he wants to make the most of it, and why not help high-flying Lens qualify for Europe?
“Let me dream a little,” is his response.