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After signing a new deal with Lyon to keep him at the club until 2027, it was expected that Maxence Caqueret would cement himself as a leader in the OL midfield, and within the first team makeup this season. As an academy product born in nearby Venssieux, Lyon fans are desperate to see the Frenchman succeed at his boyhood club.
That task hasn’t been easy for the French under 21 international but his presence and impact on the pitch are ever-growing. After the departures of Brazilian duo, Lucas Paquetá and Bruno Guimarães, a void opened in the Lyon midfield. Whilst attempts have been made to fill it, with the loan signing of Tanguy Ndombele and the return of Corentin Tolisso on a free transfer, Caqueret has had to step up as the spearhead of OL’s midfield and become a senior figure.
As a captain at youth level, there were no doubts over the midfielder’s leadership qualities and ability to hold such responsibility. Lyon’s number six isn’t a complete midfielder but is an expert at what he does. Regarding the defensive side of the game, there aren’t many better midfielders in France, or Europe for that matter. He plays the game with high intensity and often finds himself adopting the right position in midfield to break up play and win the ball back. This is evidenced by his 4.78 tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes, alongside 8.31 ball recoveries per 90.
As with any box-to-box midfielder, being able to win the ball is vital, but being able to influence the game when you win it is just as important. Whether it be releasing the ball quickly into the final third or driving into forward areas with the ball at his feet, Caqueret is often responsible for the transition of midfield into attack – something that Paquetá was largely chief co-ordinator of at OL previously. Caqueret plays 7.5 passes into the final third per 90 and completes 1.41 dribbles per 90, this unpredictability makes him a difficult opponent to handle.
Caqueret can improve in forward areas via more decisiveness while bringing goals and assists into his game but, as a box-to-box midfielder, he provides the perfect balance of defensive resolve and progressive intention for OL. After doubts over his future, that new contract suggests Lyon will be building around the Frenchman for some time to come.
Liam Wraith | GFFN