Ajorque, Diallo, Gameiro: the formidable Strasbourg trio
Ajorque, Diallo and Gameiro have scored 19 goals between them out of a total of 31 for Strasbourg in 16 games this season. “It’s in the club’s DNA to attack and take risks,” Stéphan said after Racing hammered Girondins de Bordeaux 5-2 on Wednesday, the fifth time this season they’ve scored three goals or more in a Ligue 1 match. Only Paris Saint-Germain (35) improved Strasbourg’s number of goals and yet their superstar forward three from Kylian Mbappé, Neymar Jr. and Lionel Messi only managed 11 goals between them.
Strasbourg’s top three were ably supported by Adrien Thomasson, who scored five goals and provided two assists from his role as an attacking midfielder. In Stéphan’s favored 3-5-2 system, there is rarely room for all three Ajorque, Diallo and Gameiro in the same starting XI. In fact, they’ve only started together once this season. Nevertheless, Ligue1.com decided to pay tribute to the three together. Let’s call them the ADG.
Ludovic Ajorque: The deadly giant
The striker of the giant Ajorque, with his template of 1.97 m, has resumed this season where he left off during the last. In 2020-21, Ajorque scored 16 league goals for Thierry Laurey’s Strasbourg team. This season, under the leadership of Stéphan, the Reunionese leader has already found the net eight times and delivered five assists. It’s no wonder Ajorque are pretty much the first name on the squad sheet every week – only goalkeeper Matz Sels and center-back Alexander Djiku had played more minutes before the 17th round.
Strasbourg are undefeated in their last five matches and Ajorque has scored four times in that streak, including a brace when Bordeaux were demolished on Wednesday at the Meinau stadium. Ajorque, who recently played his 100th top-flight game, scores all kinds of goals but of course he’s a huge threat in the air.
Given its setting, it is not surprising that Ajorque models its game on that of Guillaume Hoarau, the former PSG striker who is also from Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. Dimitri Payet is another native of the French overseas department. He won 38 caps for France. Ajorque, 27, has never been called up but if he continues to score goals at his current rate, he could still break into Didier Deschamps’ side. Ajorque has already refused an approach from Madagascar to play for them.
Highlights: Prolific Strasbourg hits Bordeaux for five
Kevin Gameiro: The Return of the Prodigal Son
Eyebrows were raised when Gameiro returned to Strasbourg at the end of the season, 13 years after leaving his first professional club to join FC Lorient. Now 34, Gameiro ended an eight-year stay in Spain when he arrived from Valencia on a two-year contract. “You can be assured that I still have the same qualities. I am not yet in retirement mode. I want to show all Alsatians that they can still count on me “, he declared while signing.
Gameiro, who won 13 caps for France, quickly established himself in Stephan’s roster, starting 11 league games so far and scoring four goals, including a penalty against Bordeaux in midweek. His top-level experience is proving invaluable for a club that has spent a good deal of their time in the lower half since returning to the top flight in 2017.
“I think we’ve made a lot of progress since the start of the season,” Gameiro said after Wednesday’s victory, which left the 1979 champions in sixth place. “There are still things we can improve and we must not get carried away. Our goal remains to ensure survival as quickly as possible. We have fun every game we play. Everyone plays for each other.
Habib Diallo: The signing of the record
The signing of Diallo at the start of last season was a true declaration of intent from Strasbourg, who shelled out a club-record € 10million to buy the Senegal international from eastern France rival the FC Metz. Diallo has scored nine times in his debut campaign at the Meinau Stadium and has already scored seven times this season, including scoring braces in wins against Metz and FC Lorient.
Diallo’s return of goals is all the more impressive as he has often been excluded from Stéphan’s starting lineup. Indeed, he has only started eight games, with his other seven appearances all coming from the bench. Strasbourg could also have to do without the 26-year-old for several weeks at the start of the year, assuming he is called up by Senegal for the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
“We have three attackers of a very high level. They are all different, they all complement each other and they all work hard for the team, ”Stéphan said recently. The team.
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