Under the direction of a new tandem, a new chapter is opening in Le Havre with the long-term ambition of moving up into the elite.
The results of Le Havre last season
Always placed but never a winner, this could be summed up Le Havre’s season in Ligue 2 last year. Indeed, the oldest club in France has occupied the first non-qualifying place (6th) 16 times. At the head of a group less well supplied in quantity than its competitors on the climb, Paul Le Guen finally led the HAC to a passable 8th place. The only source of satisfaction, the Le Havre team was once again highlighted with the revelations of Yahia Fofana, Isaak Touré and Amir Richardson.
The movements of the off-season
Under the leadership of a new duo in the person of Mathieu Bodmer (Sporting Director) and Luka Elsner (coach), the HAC has been very active on the transfer market. Thus, the Normans have recorded 6 arrivals since the start of the transfer window. Many have solid credentials. This is the case of the former doorman of Clermont, Arthur Desmas, of Christopher Operi (La Gantoise) but also Yann Kitala (Sochaux). Oualid El Hajjam (Troyes) will bring all his experience to the young group from Le Havre. Gautier Lloris (Auxerre) and Djamal Moussadek (Le Mans) also reinforce the oldest club.
On the departure side, Le Havre was forced to sell Isaak Touré (Marseille) and let Yahia Fofana and Himad Abdelli (Angers) go free. In addition, the owners Jean Pascal Fontaine and Alexandre Bonnet left the club after respectively 15 and 13 years under the Norman colors. Finally, Pierre Gibaud (Versailles) and Ertugrul Ersoy (Gaziantep) were not extended by the new sports management.
The arrivals :
Arthur Desmas (Clermont), Oualid El Hajjam (Troyes), Lukas Elsner (coach), Yann Kitala (Sochaux), Gautier Lloris (Auxerre), Djamal Moussadek (Le Mans), Christopher Operi (La Gantoise)
Himad Abdelli (Angers), Matthis Abline (rp Rennes), Thierno Baldé (rp Paris Saint-Germain), Alexandre Bonnet (Quevilly-Rouen), Ismaël Boura (rp Lens), Ertugrul Ersoy (Gaziantep), Yahia Fofana (Angers), Jean Pascal Fontaine (Saint-Pierroise), Pierre Gibaud (Versailles), Isaak Touré (Marseille for 5.5 million euros)
The workforce of Le Havre:
Here is the HAC squad for this new Ligue 2 BKT season.
Goalkeepers: Arthur Desmas, Mathieu Gorgelin
Defenders: Ayman Ben Mohamed, Oualid El Hajjam, Gautier Lloris, Djamal Moussadek, Christopher Operi, Arouna Sangante, Abdelwahed Wahib
Midfielders: Abdoullah Bah, Victor Lekhal, Elies Mahmoud, Nolan Mbemba, Amir Richardson, Aristide Wam
Attackers: Nabil Alioui, Josué Casimir, Quentin Cornette, Ylan Gomes, Pape Ibnou Ba, Yann Kitala, Jamal Thiaré
Le Havre: Ambitions and rankings
For his first season at the head of the Hacmen, Luka Elsner will first try to perpetuate the club in the top 10 of Ligue 2. With a renewed workforce, the priority will be to quickly find automation. The balance sheet of the preparation (1 win, 1 draw and 2 defeats) shows that the site is important. If the Slovenian technician manages to quickly find the right chemistry in his group, the HAC will be a serious contender in the race for the climb.
Friendly match results:
QRM 1-2 Le Havre
Avranches 2-2 Le Havre
Le Havre 1-4 Amiens
Troyes 3-0 Le Havre
Player to watch:
At 24, Yann Kitala finally has the opportunity to join a sustainable project in Le Havre. With 4 goals scored with Sochaux last year, the native of Paris was able to showcase himself despite his status as a substitute. Under the eye of a new coach in the person of Luka Elsner, the striker trained in Lyon could be one of the revelations of the season. The Slovenian technician hopes so because last year, Le Havre sinned in the finish with only 38 goals scored.
The Le Havre calendar:
To start its season, Le Havre will have the chance to start with the reception of Grenoble. A great opportunity to quickly pocket a first victory. During the 4th day, the Hacmen will challenge AS Saint-Etienne in their den of Geoffroy-Guichard. Note that the first Normandy derby against SM Caen will take place on Friday September 2 at the Stade Océane. The HAC will conclude its first leg with the reception of Nîmes. A day later, Luka Elsner will return to his former club Amiens at the Stade de la Licorne. The occasion of beautiful reunion. The second Normandy derby is scheduled for the 33rd day. Le Havre will conclude its season by receiving Dijon on the 38th and last day of Ligue 2.