Georges Mikautadze – from Ajax outcast to Metz’s saviour?

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Georges Mikautadze (23) was central to FC Metz’s immediate return to Ligue 2, scoring 23 goals in France’s second division last season. After netting two goals in his first three games in Ligue 1 this season, the Georgian striker earned a high-profile move to Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam. 

However, amidst the chaos that has engulfed Ajax this season, he failed to flourish; he wasn’t the only one. Having played just over 200 minutes of Eredivisie football, including just two starts, Metz smelt the scent of an opportunity and brought Miktautadze, locally known as Roi Georges, back to the relegation-threatened side.

The scars of that solemn spell at Ajax showed in the opening weeks following his return to Les Grenats, with the forward failing to score in any of his first five games, however, he now has seven goals in his last seven games in France’s top-flight, including four goals in his last two games. 

Mikautadze responsible for 30% of Metz’s Ligue 1 goals 

His two goals against Stade Brestois last weekend were in vain, with Metz slumping to a 4-3 defeat, however, his two against RC Lens secured a crucial three points that, whilst it doesn’t lift them out of the relegation zone, puts them level on points with FC Lorient, who currently occupy the relegation play-off spot. Les Merlus have a game in hand, albeit against Paris Saint-Germain. 

Mikautadze could prove to be Metz’s saviour. Despite not being at the club for half the season, he has three times the amount of Ligue 1 goals (9) as Metz’s next top-scorer Matthieu Udol (3). It is incredible that a player, who has played just 15 of Metz’s 29 Ligue 1 games, accounts for 30% of the goals scored by the team. 

Mikautadze coy on Ajax future

Roi Georges’ contribution could be crucial, but it is seemingly going unnoticed. Asked by Prime Video Sport whether he has heard from parent club Ajax, the Georgian was frank in his response. “No, I haven’t. That’s the truth,” he said after Friday night’s 2-1 win over Lens. 

Journalist Samuel Ollivier joked that he hoped Ajax had Prime Video Sport, the broadcaster of Friday’s victory for Les Grenats. If they don’t it will be another team’s gain. Speaking last week, Mikautadze said, “We’ll see what happens,” when questioned about his future. The Georgian international’s contract at Ajax runs for another four years, making a permanent return to Metz, a team that reportedly doesn’t have the funds to even sack manager Laszlo Bölöni, highly unlikely, especially in the event of a relegation to Ligue 2. However, if Ajax aren’t paying attention, other teams, especially in France, will be. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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