The SCO formalized this Wednesday the arrival of striker Adrien Hunou (28). Under contract with the MLS franchise of Minnesota United, joined in April 2021, the former Rennais has signed up for three seasons with the Angevin club, in return for a transfer fee which has not been disclosed.
Having moved from Armorica to America, the winner of the 2019 Coupe de France returns to France to revive himself, after a mixed American experience. If he had achieved a first full year (7 goals in 26 matches in 2021), he was experiencing a more complicated second exercise in Minnesota (only one start for 121 minutes scattered in 9 appearances, no goals and one assist). “The coach no longer made me play because of a disagreement with my positioning, because he saw me as a pure striker”explained Hunou, presented to the press on Wednesday and called to compensate in particular for the departure of Mohamed-Ali Cho for Real Sociedad.
Complementary Hunou of Boufal? Boissier believes in it
If he inherits at the SCO the number 19 worn by Stéphane Bahoken, who did not extend his Angevin adventure, Hunou does not define himself as a center forward. “Where I feel the best, it’s in the middle or behind the attacker, with this freedom to place myself behind the lines, he specified. This discussion around my position was also a very important element for my coming to Angers because I did not see myself finding this rather rigid attacking position. I like to touch balls and find myself face to face with the game…”
Adrien Hunou scored 36 goals in all competitions at Rennes. (J. Prévost/The Team)
This offensive free electron position resembles the one already occupied in Angers by … Sofiane Boufal, currently in care (ischios) and which Gérald Baticle hopes to recover “end of July-beginning of August”. “These are players who can be very complementary, evacuated Laurent Boissier, the sports coordinator of the SCO. Players like them, in general, they get along very well. Adrien is someone who has experience, who will bring us his technical base, his mentality and also his qualities as a scorer. »
“He will be one of those players who must take up space in the locker room, take responsibility and have leadership in the group. »
Just arrived in Anjou, Hunou, who was presented to the press this Wednesday noon, is not quite stepping into the unknown, since he has already rubbed shoulders with Souleyman Doumbia in Rennes, and Pierrick Capelle (whose extension was to be formalized in the next few hours) in Clermont, where he had been loaned between 2014 and 2016. “It’s a nice pickaxe, appreciates the Angevin coach Gérald Baticle. For me, it’s not a real number 9 which fixes the opposing defenses, which can be an anchor point or take depth; it is rather a second attacker in the axis. And he is a player who can also play in a corridor, he did it and even very well on his debut in Rennes. »
Sensitive to the technical and tactical versatility of his rookie, the technician also relies on his experience in L1 (124 matches, 25 goals with Stade Rennais) within a considerably younger workforce, after the departure of many executives (Ismaël Traoré, Romain Thomas, Thomas Mangani, Vincent Manceau). “He will be one of those players who must take up space in the locker room, take responsibility and have leadership in the group”insists the Angevin coach.