Bordeaux ASSE He could have gone much higher, the talented Wahbi Khazri is missing out on a bigger career

Bordeaux ASSE He could have gone much higher, the talented Wahbi Khazri is missing out on a bigger career

FOOTBALL Too irregular, striker Stéphane Wahbi Khazri, who will meet the Girondins de Bordeaux on Sunday (3 p.m.), will surely never reach the top European level

2 comments 129 shares Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Flipboard Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Print Send by Mail Wahbi Khazri, striker of AS Saint-Etienne. ROMAIN LAFABREGUE / AFP Wahbi Khazri returns to the Girondins and Matmut Atlantique on Sunday (3 p.m.) with the Greens. Capable of the best as of the worst, the striker from Saint-Etienne is still far too irregular to reach the very high European level. Are the criticisms of her weight problems and her strong character justified?

Of course yes, the answer fails when we ask Nicolas Maurice-Belay if his former teammate and friend Wahbi Khazri could have played at the top European level. For him, there is no doubt. It is true that from a pure talent point of view, the Tunisian has it! And not just a little. But to reach the highest level is not enough There are many other things.

Capable of exceptional performances like enormous air holes in a match or a season, the ex-attacker of the Girondins, whom he finds on Sunday (3 p.m.), remains at 28 years an intermittent of the show with AS Saint -Etienne. This player is extremely frustrating for any coach or supporter. So, is the Tunisian missing out on a much better career?

This is the almost systematic criticism that we make of Wahbi Khazri as soon as things go a little worse: he would have weight problems. The publication of photos and videos on social networks like in February regularly feeds the debate: He has always tended to be overweight. Then is it due to his morphology or his lifestyle? I am not a nutritionist, says Pierre-Paul Antonetti, a former Bastia player and recruiter who spent a lot of time with the Tunisian during his training.

Those who speak most of the weight of Wahbi Khazri support the clubs that he typed alone. It bites entire cities to be walked on by a visibly overweight guy.

Nicolas Maurice-Belay, he remembers that at the time, it was complicated for Willy Sagnol (their coach in Bordeaux) because he was super picky about it and at the same time Wahbi (Khazri) was his best player Difficult therefore to punish his attacker for some less salient abs. And if some large clubs may have been able to get involved, the former Corsican recruiter would like to recall a few facts:

They say it plays on his performance. What I see is that it has always been decisive. Physically, someone can handle a heavy workload and repeat the efforts. It has excellent VMA (Maximum Aerobic Speed) for example. He has hardly ever been injured since the start of his career and then being strong, it can help in duels (smiles).

FYI, Wahbi Khazri has averaged 34 games over the past six seasons. Apparently the attacker is more in shape for someone who is sometimes overweight.

The other limit that some specialists put forward is more to do with its character. Yes, the Greens striker is a good traveling companion for the referees: As often with players who do not cheat and give everything on the field, he is warm-blooded, he talks a lot and he has been trained at a good school, fun Nicolas Maurice-Belay. And it is not with age that it gets better Wahbi Khazri took another 12 boxes, one of which was red last season.

Inevitably at one point, it annoys and in the first place its coaches. Jean-Louis Gasset did not mince his words a few months ago on this subject: Since the start of the season, we have only been telling him (to stay in check) and he knows it. He penalizes the team with his boxes and the suspensions that follow. At 28, I think he can think. I told her about it. Knowing that in addition the boxes often fall for dispute

Finally, if the best player from Saint-Etienne last season (14 goals and 8 assists) cannot make it to the next level, it may be primarily because of his irregularity. An irregularity symbolized for example by its more than average start to the season (0 goal, 2 assists).

But for Nicolas Maurice-Belay, he resumed far too soon after the CAN (African Cup of Nations), he didn't have enough vacations. While for Pierre-Paul Antonetti, he cannot always carry the team alone, it often happened to him to hold his team at arm's length and suddenly when things go wrong it shows immediately. Bordeaux supporters will be able to confirm.

VIDEO. ASSE-OM: Why Wahbi Khazri is the centerpiece that was so lacking in the Stéphane attack via @ 20minutesSport

This is in the short term. Explanations can be heard. On the other hand, in the long term, his former friend in the locker room, we were not far from each other. He still wonders today:

Why did he go to Sunderland after Bordeaux? I saw him go to bigger clubs like Seville at the time. He is a player who has to play every three days. He could have gone much higher!

Yes, maybe. But for the moment, Wahbi Khazri remains this player capable of just like completely missing out on his match, losing 15 balls on the same match, dixit NMB, to finally put you in the middle of a 25-meter skylight in the 96th . All Wahbi Khazri!

SportBordeaux-ASSE: The time is the time, you must not be late at the stadium or in front of your TV this season with the GirondinsSportVIDEO. ASSE-OM: Why Wahbi Khazri is the centerpiece that was so lacking in the Stéphane attack SportBordeauxAquitaineLigue 1FootballSaint-EtienneGirondins de BordeauxASSE A fault? 2 comments 129 shares Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Flipboard Share on Linkedin

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