Should Europe’s elite clubs be targeting young France left-back, Adrien Truffert?

This is the latest feature in our series counting down French football’s 20 hottest properties, those most likely to feature in elite clubs’ 2023 transfer plans. Look out for the next player tomorrow and follow the run down in full here on GFFN.

A ‘blessing in disguise’ is not something you come across every day. It takes a miracle or two to pull the trigger. For Adrien Truffert, good fortune came after injuries to Theo Hernández and Lucas Digne ahead of France’s Nations League fixtures last month allowing him to be unexpectedly drafted into the squad as cover.

Truffert’s career has been about taking leaps. At 18, he made his Champions League debut before representing the French national team at 20, coming on as a second-half substitute against Denmark. Although only a 25 minute cameo in a 2-0 defeat, there were signs that this could be the start of something special.

Born in Belgium, the left-back moved to Rennes’ academy aged 14 and proved to be a quick learner, according to his under 14s coach François Tourne, who told L’Équipe: “I positioned him as a central attacking midfielder to put him in a bit of trouble, and he did well. He adapted to everything. He’s the strongest player I’ve had.”

This is Truffert’s third season with the Rennes senior side. In 2020/21 he played 29 matches, adding one goal and four assists, before 30 appearances plus three goals and three assists last season. This year, his first 10 appearances yielded three assists, underlining both his consistency and upward trajectory. 

France have produced a plethora of modern full-backs of late, Truffert is the latest example. The left-back accumulates 7.68 progressive carries per game, making him one of the best ball carriers in the league. Averaging 62 passes per game, with an accuracy rate of 82.1%, Truffert could be a significant addition to a team that more relies on possession-based football. Defensively, FBRef stats show the left-back has impressively made almost three blocks and two clearances every game.

Thanks to his long legs, Truffert sometimes looks more suited to defending but his offensive numbers impress too. Truffert has been involved in 2.21 shot creating actions per game, taking one shot himself, while averaging 2.32 touches inside the area. Although he lacks the dribbling skills of fellow France left-back Theo Hernández, the Rennes man failing to complete one dribble a match on average, but, at 5ft 8in, he does win 1.54 aerial duels per game.

Truffert’s Rennes contract runs until June 2025, making it difficult for potential suitors to sign the player at a reasonable price any time soon, but big clubs have spent enormous amounts on full-backs in the recent past, and another sizeable offer isn’t unlikely here.

While Truffert is understood to be a prodigy who could attract interest from abroad in the upcoming transfer windows, interested parties shouldn’t overlook the fact that he’s a star in the making and could become a dominant force in the years to come.

Jyotirmoy Halder

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