ANALYSIS – Delicately since the start of the season, the Turkish center forward has the opportunity to revive this Friday (9 p.m.), against Paris Saint-Germain.
The episode did not go unnoticed. Last Saturday, during the reception against Stade Brestois (1-1), Burak Yilmaz was replaced by Jonathan Ikoné in the 77th minute. Frustrated, the Turkish center forward, instead of heading for the Mastiff bench, goes straight to the locker room. “We saw each other, yes. He told me that he was frustrated with the result and the fact that we are still equal with Brest. He wanted to do a lot for the team. He apologized, attenuated Jocelyn Gourvennec in a press conference. The president (Olivier LÃ © tang, editor’s note) saw it too. I told him it was important to keep our unity. That we had to get over the frustration of dominating without scoring. That we had to keep our energy to score goals. ”If the situation is, obviously, quickly calmed down, the incident remains nonetheless symptomatic of the badly gnawing at the 36-year-old striker at the start of the season, he who had had a dreamy start in the North.
Summer 2020. After long negotiations, the native of Antalya lets himself be seduced by Luis Campos, then in charge of Lille recruitment, and decides to join the Mastiffs. A real star in his country, “King Burak” – his nickname – finds a new kingdom in France. He quickly splashed Ligue 1 with his talent and largely contributed to the conquest of the title of champion of France, at the end of a frantic race against Paris, Monaco and Lyon. 16 goals, often decisive, and 5 decisive assists: the numbers don’t lie.
Concretely, he made the difference, as Christophe Galtier described it last April, after his salutary double against OL (2-3): “Burak Yilmaz is a player who won titles in Turkey, who went to big clubs. We can all see it in its preparation, it is focused on the competition. I look at what is happening in Paris, Monaco, Lyon. It’s the front-line players who make the difference. This is also the case with us. ”. But during the season, the influence of the Turkish international was not limited to statistics.
His incredible activity, his determination and his resilience are all qualities that have reflected on his teammates. And have made him a constant threat to his opponents. If he was not voted best player at the end of the past financial year, a title that Kylian Mbappé inherited, Burak Yilmaz has it all. even left his mark on the championship in 2020-2021.
The problem is that since the takeover, “King Burak” is no longer so sovereign. The Lille offseason was lively. Christophe Galtier left, replaced by Jocelyn Gourvennec, and several executives of the workforce such as Mike Maignan and Boubakary Soumaré went to continue their progress elsewhere. So many changes that have upset the balance of Losc. The Mastiffs are skating at the start of the season, both in Ligue 1 (10th, ranking here) and in the Champions League (3rd in their pool, ranking here). And the center-forward doesn’t weigh that much anymore. Its impact has greatly diminished. He has 3 goals and 3 decisive assists to his credit in 12 matches in all competitions. Statistics far from those of 2020-21 …
For his new coach, this drop in speed would be the result of the series of matches. “In terms of stats yes, it’s less good. But he gives a lot. He plays every three or four days. The matches are linked, it is energy consuming. There is more fatigue, therefore more frustration, ”says Gourvennec. Before adding: â € œBurak is tense, the fact of being on a poorer series tenses up the last move. You need more lightness and fluidity, that allows you to finish the actions better. ”This Friday (9 p.m.), against Paris Saint-Germain, at the opening of the 12th day of the League 1, Burak Yilmaz has the opportunity to prove that his reign is not over yet.
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