Enzo Loiodice: Las Palmas’ French Technician in Midfield

At 23 years of age, Enzo Loiodice’s career has already seen more than a few peaks and valleys. He left boyhood club Dijon and made the move to Wolves’ U-23 side on loan with an option to buy, only to fail to make a single appearance after the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He returned to Dijon in June 2020, before leaving just two months later and joining Las Palmas, where he has quickly emerged as a key figure in midfield with 6 goals and 3 assists in 113 appearances.


Having grown up in the town of Villejuif, Loiodoice began his footballing career at the age of six with Sporting Club de Paris and attended school at the Paris Centre. Nicolas Paolinelli, one of his first coaches, said, “He was above average and very strong technically. We regularly played him against a higher age group. He was a short player, but he made it due to his technique and intelligence.”



It wasn’t until he joined FC Gobelins as a 12-year-old that he realized that the only thing that mattered to him, aside from his studies, was football. At 14, he decided to refine his skillset at a bigger club and joined the Dijon academy. While he had offers from Auxerre, Reims and Saint-Étienne, he rejected them in favor of Les Moutardes due to Dijon’s status as a ‘family club’. He based his choice on Dijon’s prestigious school, so that if he didn’t make it as a footballer, he could at least have the education to pursue a white-collar career, and perhaps even chase his dream of becoming a pilot.


The first year at Dijon was a baptism of fire. He suffered two major injuries all the while being away from his parents, and he described having previous bouts of homesickness, depression and anxiety. Nevertheless, he continued to pursue his dream, and at the age of 17, went from playing third-division football with the youth team to starting in Ligue 1.


He came off the bench several times in the final weeks of the 2017/18 season, before making his first start for the club in the last match of the season, a 2-1 win against Angers. Dijon manager Olivier Dall’Oglio brought him into the starting line-up at the start of the 2018/19 season, which saw them claim three straight victories.


Loiodice impressed scouts with his deft technique and even attracted interest from Fiorentina, who ended up signing Szymon Żurkowski from Górnik Zabrze instead. Despite his young age and lack of physical power, Loiodice was cutting the mustard at Dijon.



And yet, after a red-hot start to the season which saw him become a regular starter, he dropped out of the line-up after a 0-2 defeat to Marseille in November, and didn’t start again until a year later in a loss against Monaco. With Dijon embroiled in a relegation battle, Dall’Oglio tended to prefer the veterans Florent Balmont, Morgan Amalfitano and Jordan Marié to his diminutive teenage midfielder. With Antoine Kombouaré taking over in January and Stéphane Jobard subsequently replacing him in June, Loiodice never regained the same trust that was placed in him under Dall’Oglio.


Nevertheless, this did not prevent manager Bernard Diomède from starting him for France during the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland. The left-footed midfielder kept things ticking in possession, evading pressure with swift turns, and fearlessly carrying out the first phase of the build-up. Playing at the base of midfield, he’d only need a sole touch to break the lines and pick out a winger in an advanced area. While he wasn’t the strongest physically, his positioning and marking ability allowed him to recover and recycle possession with a surprising consistency.


Playing alongside the likes of Boubakary Soumaré, Youssouf Fofana and Mickaël Cuisance in midfield, it was Loiodice who shined the brightest out of Les Bleuets’ midfielders. This was the player we had previously enjoyed under Dall’Oglio, a left-footed technician who could switch the play in the blink of an eye and smoothly evade pressure. A brilliant reader of the game, both on and off the ball, who knew what pass he was going to make before he even played it.


After playing a mere 189 minutes of football under Jobard, Loiodice joined Wolves on loan with an option to buy during the final days of the January transfer window, but he would fail to make a single appearance and left Wolves with no other choice but to pass up on the £1.6 million purchase option. Instead, he has found a new lease on life in the Canary Islands, playing a key role in their promotion last season and spurring them to an impressive return to La Liga after six years.



Loiodice is a technically gifted midfielder who is capable of wriggling out of pressure thanks to his close control and body orientation, a regular performer who has chipped in with consistently solid performances at the Estadio Gran Canaria. Whilst manager García Pimienta has often relegated him to the bench in order to play Manchester City loanee Máximo Perrone and enable Kirian Rodríguez to make piercing runs forward into the edge of the box and allow his top scorer to thrive, the Frenchman has nevertheless managed 30 appearances in the league and three in the Copa del Rey this season.


There have been times where he has taken liberties in his own area as stronger, more experienced players bear down on him, but thanks to his delightful control and sharp body swivels, he’s almost always been able to defuse the pressure and advance play further forward. The player, who models his game after Andrés Iniesta, is a satisfyingly simple smooth operator, a technician who can control the flow of  possession and break the lines with lovely cross-field switches.


According to Las Palmas-based journalist Luis Quintana, Loiodice hasn’t been dropped from the XI due to a lack of quality, but more so the situation of the team and having a defensive-minded presence who can allow Rodríguez to have the freedom to go forward. “He doesn’t work as a defensive midfielder..he’s not bad defensively, but he doesn’t have what it takes to play in this role. However, if there’s one thing that won’t allow him to reach the top level, it’s his defensive aspects.”



“In terms of individual quality, he has more than enough to be a starter. He just needs continuity, but he’s already shown his quality on plenty of occasions. He fits their possession-heavy, associative style of play and is rather creative, and he can be a difference-maker in defensive slugfests, but he isn’t somebody who is is going to do all of the dirty work and win back possession in dangerous areas.”


With a contract until 2025 and with Perrone set to return to the Etihad in the summer, it seems likely that Las Palmas will work to renew Enzo Loiodice’s deal and prolong his stay in the Canary Islands. Despite losing each of their last five matches, Pío Pío find themselves on track for a comfortable mid-table finish in their return to the big leagues, and if they are to continue their upward momentum in 2024/25 and show that they’re not just a one-hit wonder, keeping hold of Loiodice should be one of the first orders of business.


By: Zach Lowy / @ZachLowy

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce / Getty Images