Stade Rennais: A Club on the Rise

League: Ligue 1

Technical Director: Florian Maurice

Head of Recruitment: Jérôme Bonnissel

Manager: Bruno Génésio


Rennes have possibly one of the best academies in world football of recent and are constantly producing top-level talents. They use their academy well as they’re constantly integrating academy graduates to the first team and young recruits too. Historically, the likes of Sylvain Wiltord, Yoann Gourcuff, Yann M’Vila, Tiémoué Bakayoko and Mikaël Silvestre all came through the ranks at Rennes but more recently their talent production line is even better.


A big part of their success is their willingness to play young players early on in their development journey. Below is a list of players who’ve made their debuts young and had a lot of minutes.


Eduardo Camavinga – debut 16, 364’ in 7 games (2783’ the next season)

Mathys Tel – debut 17, 81’ in 10 games (sold to Bayern after for €20m)

Lesley Ugochukwu – debut 17, 64’ in 3 games (519’ the next season)

Désire Doué – debut 17, 1403’ in 34 games (this season)

Jeanuël Belocian – debut 17 & 11’ in 1 game (808’ the next season)


This trust in youth is what allows players with the promise to continue developing as they get the minutes and first-team experience they need at the early stage of their careers. Prospects then become more ‘proven’ as bigger clubs then look at purchasing these young talents for bigger fees. 


Arnaud Kalimuendo: Rennes’ Budding Superstar in Attack


The quality of the players that their academy has generated and sold is mind-boggling.  Recent academy sales include: 


Ousmane Dembélé – €35m

Eduardo Camavinga – €31m

Mathys Tel – €20m

Adama Diakhaby – €10m

Armand Laurienté – €3m

Brandon Soppy – €2m

Gerzino Nyamsi – €1.5m

Sacha Boey – €1.15m


More than just a first-rate academy, Rennes have an exceptional recruitment strategy and have been able to find undervalued promising players and sell them for massive profits. Technical director Florian Maurice stated, “data is a recruitment aid to compare profiles, it is purely factual” []. One example he said they use data is to discover 16-year-old players making their pro debut to identify who to further investigate. They’ve been able to find some great young players and sell them for profit in the short term, such as:


Nayef Aguerd – bought for €4m & sold for €35m

Kamaldeen Sulemana – bought for €17m & sold for €25m

Edouard Mendy – bought for €7.6m & sold for €24m

Ramy Bensebaini – bought for €2m & sold for €8m

Benjamin André – bought for €0m & sold for €7m

Ismaïla Sarr – bought for €17m & sold for €30m


Jeremy Doku – Renaissance Man


In general, their recruitment team has a top talent ID as they’ve continually discovered great players. Signings that are currently in the squad like Arthur Theate, Christopher Wooh, Benjamin Bourigeaud, Lovro Majer, Amine Gouiri, Martin Terrier and Jérémy Doku have all been hits for Rennes. Along with past players Raphinha & Ismaïla Sarr, it’s clear they know a talented youngster when they see one.


After finishing fourth and securing Europa League qualification, Rennes will be looking to hold onto young prospects such as Ugochukwu, Doué and Belocian and make a serious push in domestic and international competition next season. They have lost club captain Hamari Traoré on a free transfer to Real Sociedad, but after already receiving €26.5 million for Andy Diouf, Serhou Guirassy and Loïc Badé — all of whom were loaned out in 2022/23 — they have what it takes to bolster their squad with more promising, up-and-coming youngsters and make themselves a serious force in Ligue 1 next season.


By: Ben Mattinson / @Ben_Mattinson_

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Dave Winter / Icon Sport