Rudi Garcia found his winning formula with his offensive line, made up of Tino Kadewere, Karl Toko Ekambi and Memphis Depay.
“With Toko-Ekambi and Depay, everything is working fine” observed Kadewere, at the microphone of OLTV after a meeting overflown in Nice last Saturday (1-4). The statistics confirm these comments: with the “KTM” trio aligned together, OL pocketed 6 wins out of seven matches and without at least one of the three, only three in 9 matches. A striking observation about the dependence of one on the other two. It was in the heart of October, during a first period of madness in Strasbourg that the three men started together, at the end of the summer transfer window and a non-departure from Memphis. Since then, the team has finally found its offensive balance and have been systematically aligned from the start, except in the derby where Tino entered and turned the tide with a saving brace, and the trip to Angers, where Karl Toko Ekambi was suspended.
“They take pleasure in playing well together”. A few minutes after the offensive recital of his team on the lawn of the Aiglons, Rudi Garcia was admiring his trident. In Nice, the KTM literally put the French Riviera defense to bay: all three scorers, Toko Ekambi can especially thank the Zimbabwean for his donation, a sign that the players are perfectly fine. “They have complete freedom to create and decide, with and without the ball, on the offensive plan,” Garcia explained.
“The trio creates a lot of problems for the opponent when they combine together”
The coach has full confidence in his attacking trio, to such an extent that Moussa Dembélé, scorer of 15 league goals last year, was satisfied only with crumbs at the end of matches before his broken arm on Tuesday and a probable unavailability of six to eight weeks. Same story for Rayan Cherki, the Lyon nugget from which Europe was tearing itself apart before he signed his first professional contract and, who today does not record much playing time. “Both can also bring us. a lot, but it’s true that at the moment, the trio is creating a lot of problems for the opponent when they combine together, ”explained the former OM coach.
22 goals already to their credit, i.e. more goals than the entire OM team
Not necessarily obvious at the start, the complementarity between the three is now more than fruitful. The Dutchman, brilliant in the pass, occupies the tip of the attack on paper but is also, at the same time, a free electron in order to create breaches in the defense as during the third Lyon goal against the Nice. “We understood our styles between Karl, Memphis and me,” observed Kadewere. It works well”
The trio exploded the counters with 22 goals scored out of the 31 for OL in Ligue 1 (8 for Depay and Toko Ekambi, 6 for Kadewere). By way of comparison, it is more than OM with 21 goals scored (but the Phocaeans are two games behind). In addition to the goals, they also delivered ten assists, including eight that allowed another member of the trio to score.
A departure in January for Depay?
But the trio could separate this winter after a last match against Nantes this Wednesday at 9 p.m. At the end of the contract next June, but being able to commit from January 1 with any club, a departure from Memphis is not to be ruled out to bail out finances, especially with the health (and economic) crisis. But OL could also say goodbye, at the same time, to the title chances. In any case, Rudi Garcia is rather clear on his captain. “We were polluted by the summer transfer window, I hope we will not be polluted with the winter transfer window,” said Rudi Garcia. Memphis is a world class player and we are much stronger with him. If we have ambitions, he will still be with us in the second half of the season. ” One way of saying that OL is dependent on the Dutch, and that its opium is therefore called Memphis Depay …