With the Ligue 1 season being bought to an early conclusion, a period of reflection is now upon us and with the top half of the table being covered in the first part of this series, it is now time to look at the best players per club in the bottom.
Angers – Romain Thomas and Baptiste Santamaria (Both rated – 78)
A shared outcome as far as Angers are concerned and although it was a season of mid-table mediocrity, that should not diminish the efforts of either the defensively versatile Thomas or the central midfielder Santamaria - with the latter being a Ligue 1 ever present with 28 appearances.
Bordeaux – Pablo (Rating – 83)
A twelfth placed finish is what Bordeaux had to settle for this season and it arguably could have been a lot worse were it not for Pablo plying his trade across the back four. The Brazilian finished the campaign with a 6.9 rating and at 28-years-old is now displaying the peak of talents.
Nantes – Nicolas Pallois (Rating – 83)
A rather uninspiring effort from Nantes this season and they will be grateful to Pallois for making sure they kept their heads clear above the relegation waters. An impressive average rating of 7.0 was recorded for the season, one that saw him make 21 Ligue 1 starts and play 1890 minutes.
Brest – Gautier Larsonner (Rating – 82)
Brest’s highly rated shot stopper only missed one Ligue 1 fixture this season and from his 27 appearances, he managed to record no less than seven clean sheets. While at the age of just 23, he will certainly now be on the radar of some of Europe’s most established outfits.
Metz – Alexandre Oukidja (Rating – 82)
Another highly rated Ligue 1 shot stopper, although Oukidja is perhaps more vintage than compared to Brest counterpart above. Once again, just one appearance short of being ever-present in the league, while the 31-year-old edged out Larsonner in terms of clean sheets, with eight to his name.
Dijon – Alfred Gomis, Didier Ndong, Mounir Chouiar (All rated – 78)
A three-way split in terms of accolades for Dijon. Goalkeeper Gomis will be commended for a half-dozen clean sheets, while Ndong’s three assists and Chouair’s four goals played a part in keeping the Stade Gaston Gerard outfit in the top division for another season.
Saint-Etienne – Denis Bouanga (Rating – 79)
With Les Verts avoiding relegation by just two places, Bouanga’s contribution this season must get a special mention. A goal tally that saw him just break into double figures with 10, undoubtedly eased any relegation fears and he may well become a summer target for clubs in France and beyond.
Nimes – Lucas Deaux and Zinedine Ferhat (Both rated – 75)
Nimes may have lost their last three Ligue 1 outings, but with the rules changing they are still classified as a top flight outfit. Special praise must go to Deaux who provided two goals from central midfield and winger Ferhat, whose three goals and four assists at least offered fans some cheer.
Amiens – Sehrou Guirassy (Rating – 77)
As one of the two clubs to be sent down to Ligue 2 next season, there are few highlights for Amiens to look back on. However, one shining light was the nine goals that Guirassy provided and with that contribution in mind, being snapped up by another Ligue 1 outfit in the off-season looks likely.
Toulouse – William Vainqueur (Rating – 75)
Toulouse’s season has been nothing short of a disaster and with just three wins from 28, there is no doubting they were the worst team in the division. However, there is also no hiding that Vainqueur is one of, if not their best, players. But at 31, a move back to a bigger club looks rather unlikely.