Written by Olaleye Oluwadamilola
Jean Clair- Todibo alongside Badredine Bouanani were the biggest winners as OGC celebrated their standout players for the 2022/2023 season which saw them miss narrowly out of the European spot.
Jean-Clair Todibo and Badredine Bouanani have been named Aiglon and Espoir of the season respectively by OGC Nice supporters, who voted on the club’s website, the club announced.
As the 2022/2023 season comes to an end with the visit of Lyon on Saturday at 9pm, as they do every year in May, the Gym’s supporters had the opportunity to vote for the best player of the season at Nice, as well as the best young player to determine standout performers.
In the main category, Todibo was voted to succeed last year’s winner Delort. Receiving 35% of the votes, the central defender is coming off the back of a superb season that saw him named player of the month three times, in August, September and January.
A consistent performer and a leader in the dressing room, the rock of Le Gym was one of the main architects of the good season enjoyed by Nice’s backline, which is currently the second best defence in Ligue 1 ahead of the final round of matches.
Called up to the French national team for the first time as an Aiglon, appointed captain for the return match against Tiraspol… Todibo has had a season full of milestones. The number 25, who extended his contract with the Red and Black until 2027 this autumn, also reached the 100-match milestone with Nice in the 2-1 win over Rennes (M34), just over two years after his arrival.
‘J-C’ finished ahead of Gaëtan Laborde (22%), who has been invaluable and has enjoyed a fine end to his campaign (9 goals in 2023; Aiglon of March and April). Dante (14%), once again impressive for his consistency at the age of 39, completes the podium.
As for the Espoir of the Season award, it went to Badredine Bouanani (60%). Aged just 18, the former Lille man, who signed his first professional contract last summer and extended his contract this winter, impressed with his energy and technical ability. Brought into the professional squad by Didier Digard in January, the new Algerian international made 20 appearances for the club, providing 4 assists in Ligue 1 (tied with Khephren Thuram for the best total in the squad) and was also involved in a number of memorable moves, such as the dribble that led to Laborde’s goal against Clermont (M32, 1-2) or the free-kick delivered to his strike partner against Rennes.
Liverpool target, Khephren Thuram has been named in the UNFP awards’ team of the season following in the footsteps Daniel Bravo (1987-88), Hatem Ben Arfa (2015-16) and Jean-Mickaël Seri (2016-17) after a productive season where the 22 year old midfielder played in every match of the current season until his injury at La Meinau on matchday 35.
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After being voted young player of the season last year by Nice fans, Khephren’s progress has been recognized by the French league players (according to the rules, it is the professional footballers who vote for the best players in each division).
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