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One to watch: Romain Perraud

Publish on 15/11/2020 at 14:47 - D. CROSSAN

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Brest left-back Romain Perraud has enjoyed such an outstanding start to the Ligue 1 Uber Eats season that he's being tipped for future France honours.

Back story:

Born in Toulouse on September 22 1997, Perraud joined Nice in 2014 and made his debut in a Europa League match against Krasnodar in December 2016. He had to wait until January 2018 to play in Ligue 1 for the first time, at Saint-Etienne as a late substitute, but he didn't feature again for the rest of the season and in the summer of 2018 went out on loan to Ligue 2 club Paris FC in search of game time.

Perraud put in a brilliant season in the French capital, scoring five goals in 33 league appearances and was voted Ligue 2 player of the year by France Football magazine; that despite missing a penalty in the play-offs against Lens. Back at Nice, Perraud realised he was third-choice left-back and resolved to move on.

Amidst rumoured interest from the likes of Scottish giants Celtic and Ligue 1 club Dijon, Perraud plumped for promoted Brest and made 20 Ligue 1 Uber Eats appearances in his debut season.

Style of play:

With a great left-foot, Perraud is ideally suited to Olivier Dall'Oglio's attacking tactics at Brest as the full-backs are encouraged to push forward and get crosses in for the likes of Steve Mounié and Irvin Cardona. Committed and skilful, Perraud is progressing at pace and his terrific displays have not gone unnoticed.

Current campaign:

Having failed to net at all in the league last season, Perraud has already scored three goals in nine games this term, against Dijon, Lorient and LOSC. Perraud was off the scale good in the 3-2 victory over hitherto unbeaten LOSC at Stade Francis-Le-Blé in Round 10, setting up the opening goal, before scoring the second with a precise left-footed shot across France goalkeeper Mike Maignan. The goals have led to greater recognition and future opponents are now wise to Perraud's threat.

What he said:

"Nowadays, football is more and more focused on statistics. Scoring helps, I can't lie about that, because it means you are more in the spotlight. It's a bit of a shame that defenders need to do that, but that's modern football. Maybe it makes us defenders add more in attack, even if that's something that comes naturally to me. Stats help the confidence levels a lot, when it comes to taking initiatives and risks."

"Staying in Ligue 1 is the priority. I don't want to get ahead of myself and say 'this is the season when I can make a major breakthrough,' as I'm not like that. I'm not pretentious enough to say it's my season. It's about putting the team first."

"Olivier Dall'Oglio has always helped me analyse my game. I remember a discussion after a Coupe de la Ligue match at Lyon at the start of 2020, a time when I wasn't playing as much. He said to me 'Romain, that was a coherent match and I liked it.' That allowed me to gain in confidence and after that I was able to start games in the league. There are times in the season when you need the coach."

Romain Perraud, speaking to Le Télégramme on September 19, 2020