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Ajorque's giant strides at Strasbourg

Publish on 28/04/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS

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Only Kylian Mbappé has scored more Ligue 1 Conforama doubles -or better - than giant Strasbourg forward Ludovic Ajorque since the turn of the year.

Ajorque has netted a double three times in 2019, most recently in the 3-3 draw against Guingamp two games ago. The massive attacker joined Strasbourg last summer after scoring 14 goals in Ligue 2 with Clermont last season, and it took him just 81 minutes of top-flight football to register his first goal, with a header against Nantes in September.

The 25-year-old then hit the headlines in January, a header opening the scoring in Strasbourg's 5-1 win in Monaco. His second goal though proved that there is much more to the 1m97 forward than just aerial prowess.

Impressed Strasbourg coach Thierry Laurey said: "He managed to finish what he started! It looked totally natural, starting in his own half with four players around him, he never even considered that one of them would stop him! When he got close to the box - he shot, and found the net! That's when you know someone is playing with confidence. He's managing to do everything I'm asking of him this season!"

Born on the French Indian Ocean island of La Réunion, Ajorque has adapted superbly to life in the elite and offers Laurey a more than useful alternative to South African international forward Lebo Mothiba. Ajorque is joint-top of the club scoring list on eight league goals, alongside Mothiba and Nuno Da Costa.

Ajorque said: "Everything is going well for me, but also for the team. My parents often travel here to see me, it gives me strength, so I hope I can continue making them proud."

Technically gifted and blessed with an explosive left boot, the man who idolised fellow La Réunion forward Guillaume Hoarau as a teenager will be showcasing his talents on the European stage next season thanks to Strasbourg's Coupe de la Ligue triumph last month.

Laurey said: "As well as having a very good strike, he's also far better on the ball than most players of his size. He's enjoying himself at the moment, and we are reaping the benefits of that!"