Rennes XI if they kept their best players featuring Raphinha and Aguerd
Moroccan centre-back Nayef Aguerd has become the latest star to secure a big-money move away from Ligue 1 side Rennes.
West Ham United have signed the 26-year-old left-sided defender on a five-year contract for £30m.
Aguerd becomes David Moyes’ first signing in the summer transfer window and he is likely to form a key part of how West Ham’s 2022-23 XI looks.
The Ligue 1 side have become accustomed to their talented stars being snapped up by sides from Europe’s other big leagues in recent years.
The Roazhon Park club have nurtured some of the finest stars across Europe with a large majority currently plying their trade in the Premier League.
Following Aguerd’s departure to the Hammers, TBR takes a look at a Rennes XI if they kept their best players.
Rennes XI if they kept their best players
Edouard Mendy followed in the footsteps of former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech by making the move to Stamford Bridge in September 2020.
The African Cup of Nations winner has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world and in his first season in west London – he got his hands on the Champions League trophy.
Rennes’ club captain Hamari Traoré has been at the club for five years following his arrival from Reims and the 30-year-old Malian international enjoyed the best season of his career last year – scoring three goals and providing 10 assists in the French top-flight.
Aguerd, who has 25 caps for Morocco, and made 66 league appearances for Rennes, is partnered in defence by Joris Gnagnon who is currently a free agent.
The former France Under-21 international had made 79 appearances for Rennes before being signed by La Liga giants Sevilla. But with Jules Kounde and Diego Carlos the first-choice pairing at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, Gnagnon made 16 appearances for Sevilla before being loaned back to Rennes.
The 25-year-old joined Saint Etienne as a free agent in January following his release from Sevilla in September 2021, but he didn’t make one appearance for Les Verts.
Algerian left-back Ramy Bensebaini, who plays for Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach after joining the German outfit in August 2019, completes the former Rennes defence.
The attack-minded left-back, who can play centrally, has 18 goals in 83 appearances for Gladbach.
Everton’s Abdoulaye Doucouré, who is likely to remain at the heart of Frank Lampard’s engine room next season, came through the academy at Rennes before being signed by Watford in February 2016.
The box-to-box midfielder made 92 appearances for Les Rouges et Noirs (The Red and Blacks), scoring 16 goals and providing 15 assists.
Doucoure is partnered in midfield by French sensation Eduardo Camavinga who won La Liga and the Champions League in his first season as a Real Madrid player.
The 13-time France international was one of the most highly-sought after youngsters across Europe last summer, but it was Los Blancos who signed the teenager as an 18-year-old.
In April 2019, Camavinga became the youngest Rennes debutant aged 16 years and four months.
While Doucoure and Camavinga would likely be a rock-solid midfield pairing, the duo would have a star-studded forward line in front of them.
After coming through the Rennes youth ranks, Ousmane Dembele had one full season in the first team from which he scored 12 goals and provided five assists from 26 Ligue 1 games.
The electric Frenchman was then signed by Thomas Tuchel’s Borussia Dortmund where he spent one full season before being signed by Barcelona in a deal worth a staggering £135.5m.
The 2018 World Cup winner has been linked with a reunion with Tuchel at Chelsea with his Barcelona contract set to expire at the end of this month.
In his only full season under Tuchel, the speedy two-footed forward scored 10 goals and laid on 21 assists from 49 games. From 149 games for Barcelona, the 25-year-old, whose time at the Nou Camp has been blighted with injuries, has scored 32 goals and supplied 34 assists.
Brazilian superstar Raphinha only had one season in Brittany following his arrival from Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon.
From 36 games for Rennes, the Brazilian international scored eight goals and laid on seven assists before Leeds United snapped up the tricky forward up for £17m.
Ismaïla Sarr spent two seasons at Rennes following his arrival from Metz. The Senegalese international scored 18 goals and laid on 16 assists from 77 games for the Roazhon Park side before Watford paid a club record £25m to bring him to Vicarage Road.
Following the Hornets’ relegation to the Championship, the 24-year-old is likely to call time on his Watford chapter and he could join Aguerd at the London Stadium.
Martin Terrier, who has been linked with a summer move to Liverpool, according to the Mirror, scored 21 Ligue 1 goals last season – only Wissam Ben Yedder (25) and Kylian Mbappe (28) scored more than Terrier.
The former Lyon man’s goals fired Rennes to a fourth-placed finish but it wasn’t enough to secure Champions League football.
Capable of playing from the left or upfront, the 25-year-old has 30 goals and 15 assists from 84 matches for Rennes.
But with Aguerd departing this summer, Terrier, whose contract with Rennes expires in 2025, may have to wait another year for his big-money move.
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