Adrien Truffert enjoyed a stunning top-flight debut last weekend. Ligue1.com takes a look at the Stade Rennais FC teenager’s back story.
If you think of teenagers at Rennes at the moment, the first name that is bound to come to mind is that of Eduardo Camavinga. The 17-year-old recently made his full international debut for France and is one of the hottest prospects in world football. Yet Rennes have long been a club renowned for bringing through young talents and Truffert is the latest to emerge at Roazhon Park.
The 18-year-old defender was thrown on four minutes before half-time by coach Julien Stéphan in the Ligue 1 Uber Eats clash with AS Monaco to replace the injured Faitout Maouassa. He went on to have an astonishing impact. In the 81st minute, with Rennes trailing 1-0, Truffert delivered a cross from the left for Steven Nzonzi to head in the equaliser. Then, in stoppage time, his left-foot strike from outside the box was fumbled over the line by Monaco goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte for the winner. Truffert was the hero.
“We had said we were not looking for a new left-back, that we were counting on him,” Stéphan said after a summer in which Souleyman Doumbia - a specialist in the position - was sold to Angers SCO, and the versatile Jérémy Morel was allowed to join FC Lorient. Truffert, who has played further forward on the left flank at age-group levels for France, was instead seen as the back-up to the highly-rated Maouassa.
Born in Belgium
“He got his chance (against Monaco), it was a first for him but he showed the quality he has both with his crossing and his shooting. He is versatile enough to be able to play anywhere down the left but I prefer him deeper. When you can get up and down like he can and you start from further back, he can keep on repeating those runs.”
Watch: Truffert sets up Nzonzi goal against Monaco
Truffert, who turns 19 in November and has played for France up to Under-19 level, will hope to get plenty more opportunities in what will be a busy season for Rennes as they look forward to their first ever UEFA Champions League campaign.
First professional contract
But whatever happens next, it has already been a fabulous year for the player, who was born in Liège, his parents having relocated to Belgium for professional reasons. Truffert had already been called up to the first-team squad before the coronavirus pandemic called to a premature halt to last season, being named by Stéphan in the party for a game against Nîmes Olympique in February. In May he signed his first professional contract, tying him to Rennes until 2023.
Watch: Truffert scores late winner against Monaco
“He is a young player who I know very well,” said Stéphan at the time, before delivering a glowing appraisal of Truffert. “He has huge potential and a very good left foot. He is very intelligent, has the right mentality and the versatility to play in different positions. He has all the qualities needed to keep progressing and to break through in the near future.”
In the family
Truffert grew up in Jouy, a village in the Eure-et-Loir département around 100 kilometres to the south-west of Paris. He went on to play for nearby FC Chartres before joining the famous Rennes academy in 2015. His former youth coaches have been busy telling the local press what an exceptional young talent he was, no doubt ably supported by his father who played for lower-league club VS Chartres having once been on the books at AJ Auxerre. Football clearly runs in the family, with L’Echo Républicain reporting that Adrien’s younger brother Florian is set to soon follow the same path to Rennes.
Adrien won the national Under-17 title with Rennes in 2018 and the Under-19 title in 2019, while also being lucky enough to attend the first team’s Coupe de France final win over Paris Saint-Germain and a memorable Europa League victory over Arsenal. “The dream is to play in Ligue 1 one day, and for France,” he said back then. One dream has been fulfilled, and now he can start working towards the other. Camavinga has already shown the way for teenage talents at Rennes.