Having left Lyon, where he was unable to break through, Martin Terrier seems to have found the ideal place to hit his straps. With Rennes, the forward has already scored 14 times this season and confirmed his progress in style against his former club on Sunday.
Martin Terrier just can't stop scoring. With a stunning strike in Round 28's smashing of his former club Lyon (4-1), the Rennes player has clearly taken a step forward mentally - something his game had needed for some time. And at 25 years old, the former France U21 international (13 caps) - yet to receive a call-up to the senior squad - has no more time to lose.
"This season could be a turning point for him," declared Rennes coach Bruno Genesio in early March. "If he continues, he has the qualities to have an international future, but for the moment, that's not what should drive him the most. He just needs to keep performing as he has been doing."
The Rennes tactician, who managed Terrier at OL (2018-19), helped to get the young forward back on track when he arrived in Brittany in March 2021. Exiled to the left flank under the tenure of coach Julien Stéphan, the former Lille youth academy charge had struggled but, Genesio moved him into the middle and he has a been a first-team regular since the spring of 2021. Terrier then started to fire: five goals and three assists between March 20 and the end of the league season.
This season, with the arrival of Gaëtan Laborde to complete the Rennes attack, Terrier has continued his transformation.
"Gaëtan helps me a lot to outdo myself, he has a leader's soul which helps me a lot," confided Terrier earlier in the season.
And now we see that Terrier has racked up 14 goals and an assist in Ligue 1 Uber Eats so far this season, including his first-ever hat-trick, against Saint-Etienne in December (5-0). He opened the scoring by springing the offside trap, then conjured a winning back-heel before finally a curling shot into the top corner.
"It's always a source of pride to score goals," he said modestly after the game, "I was happy to help the team."
Before this success in Brittany, Terrier took a long time to find his feet. Loaned by Lille to Strasbourg during the summer of 2017, he then moved to Lyon in January 2018 as an emergency signing by Florian Maurice, who is now technical director at Rennes. But with Les Gones, the forward failed to score more than 9 goals in the championship in his first full season (2018-19) before having a tough 2019-20 season with only six goals in 35 games in all competitions.
With Rennes, however, Terrier has revived his career - thanks again to Maurice, who had made Terrier a recruitment priority. And now his status has evolved: Martin Terrier is a striker starting to make waves in France...