Johann Lepenant, the little hope that has everything of a very big one

Winner of the Maurice-Revello tournament with the France U20 team on June 12, Johann Lepenant ended his very good season (35 matches in Ligue 2) with Stade Malherbe de Caen, before signing with Olympique Lyonnais, who made it a priority and paid 4.25 million euros (2.5 million in the form of bonuses) to enlist him until 2027. “My goal is to progress and necessarily to play. I will do my best to scratch playing time. I have to work for that. There is competition everywhere, in all clubs. It doesn’t stress me out.”first assured the young 19-year-old midfielder when it was formalized.

Arrived at the start of the transfer window, Johann Lepenant seemed to appear as an element of the rotation for Peter Bosz, who claimed a lining at his post. “If we want to continue playing in 4-3-3 with only one 6, then yes, we are looking for a sentry, conceded the Dutchman. We have players in the squad to play with two 6s. But to play with a single 6, we only have Johann (Lepenant)”. But in the end, no reinforcements came and Thiago Mendes was just finishing his conversion as a centre-back.

The Lyon dressing room was impressed

And despite tough competition with the presence of Jeff Reine-Adélaïde, the return of Corentin Tolisso or even Maxence Caqueret who can play in his position, Lepenant immediately made his mark in the Lyon locker room. Yet judged as a timid element, he is “impressive” for its captain Alexandre Lacazette. “It’s his best match in the Lyon jersey (against Ajaccio, 2-1), even if he didn’t do much. I think he raised his level. I am the first surprised”.

It’s really surprising to go from Ligue 2 to Ligue 1 and win like that, in Lyonexplained Ludovic Lepenant, his father, to West France. We expected him to scratch some playing time, because we know the mental strength of Jo ‘, but not so quickly. Even in Lyon, they can’t believe it“. And there is something. In front of the Lyon defence, his ability to recover balls and his technique to get the ball out and launch his attacking partners was something he lacked in the Lyon workforce in recent years.

A stunning entry against PSG

“We saw that he was very strong technically. He loses few balls, he has been very stable since the start of the preparation. He chained and I can only be happy. I am surprised but it means that the scouting has worked well”, added Peter Bosz. But after the statements of his coach, the ex-Caennais had his first complicated evening in Lorient (1-3). In difficulty and jostled by the Merlus block, he was replaced by Corentin Tolisso, but that did not prevent OL from suffering their first defeat of the season.

Against Monaco (1-2), he made a lot of effort, both defensive and offensive, before covering the many defensive blunders of his central hinge. But that did not convince Peter Bosz, who left him on the bench against PSG, in a new 4-4-2 system with Caqueret and Tolisso in the middle. Faced with the injury of the ex-Bavarian, Bosz had launched at halftime. Aggressiveness, simplicity in the game, technique, Lepenant was not afraid against Paris and helped a lot in keeping possession of the ball.

A performance hailed by the public at Groupama Stadium, before the first international break of the season. The road is still long, but the 19-year-old midfielder is still proving that he has his place as an indestructible player, despite his young age. It obviously comes out as the great satisfaction of this mixed start to the season for Olympique Lyonnais.