Maxence Caqueret: Young and ambitious
He just turned 21 a few weeks ago, yet his maturity on the pitch might lead one to believe that he already has several years in the professional game. A revelation during the Final 8 of the Champions League, where he illuminated the midfield alongside Houssem Aouar and Bruno Guimaraes, Maxence Caqueret had, however, almost to start from scratch this year. With the return to form of Thiago Mendes and the arrival of Lucas Paqueta, playing time has necessarily been redistributed. Yet the youngster was nonplussed at the challenges which were presented to him, as he started many of the first matches of the league season. His progress, however, was stopped in its tracks after contracting COVID-19 and the native of Vénissieux then took time to fully recover from this virus, but he always has kept his objectives clear placed the team's success above his own. While he makes no secret that he would love to play every match, he also knows that competition drives this team and pushes everyone to be the best they can be.
With 21 matches played this season, including 12 as a starter, he has already surpassed his totals from last season and is expected to continue to improve these figures. Despite the absence of European play and the rotation that would come with additional fixtures, something that is more common when the team plays more than 50 matches in a season, the number 25, thanks to his qualities and his mental fortitude, has carved out his place in the squad. Among his feats are two starts in derby wins, a fixture that is particularly close to his heart, as he has been a captain in the various youth categories with the academy.
Clinical in his ball recovery and sublime in his distribution, he does still lacks that bit of magic necessary score or add assists, but he more than compensates for this with incessant activity from the first to the last minute, and despite a physique that some might consider to be too fragile for a midfielder, the academy product has proven that his positional nous and his intensity more than compensate for his youth.
In addition, in a team with so much attacking talent, it is not necessarily easy to find oneself with a bevy of opportunities, when your midfield partners are players like Lucas Paqueta or Houssem Aouar. Despite his lack of goals or assists, the Lyon midfield has been very successful and is one of the most effective in ball retention and passing rates in Ligue 1.
A product of the club and of the city of Lyon, Maxence Caqueret now wants to lift a trophy with OL, after having come so close last season, following the team's unfortunate losses in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue and then in the semifinals of the Champions League. To do so, he will have to keep up the level he's displayed since his first appearances, something which he seems primed to do, given he's been back to delivering consistency over the last few games. And while the matches to come will be more important than the previous ones, in this unpredictable league season, the young midfielder hopes to rise to meet the pressure and realize his dream with OL, that of winning a trophy, and with it the opportunity to dream even bigger over the seasons to come.