Camavinga next? A brilliant XI of players sold by Rennes since 2010
The transfer window is finally getting up to full speed and if reports are to be believed, yet another talented player from Rennes is strongly rumoured to be on the move.
Eduardo Camavinga is just the latest in a long line of top talents to emerge from the Ligue 1 club. Should he move on to a bigger club, he’d follow in the footsteps of some world-class stars in recent years. The 18-year-old France international has been linked with Manchester United, PSG and Real Madrid.
We have put together a brilliant XI of players to have left Rennes since 2010.
GK: Edouard Mendy
Mendy spent just one season with Rennes, moving in the summer of 2019 from Reims and leaving a year later for Chelsea.
He managed to keep nine clean sheets in 24 Ligue 1 appearances before their season was curtailed by the pandemic. The 29-year-old made the move to Stamford Bridge for around £22million in September 2020, following in the footsteps of Blues legend Petr Cech by making the switch between the two clubs.
Mendy equalled Keylor Navas’ clean sheet record for a single Champions League campaign (nine) as Thomas Tuchel lead them to a second European crown.
RB: Rod Fanni
Fanni was Rennes’ first-choice right-back between 2007 and 2011 following his move from Nice.
He made 133 appearances in total before moving on in Ligue 1 to Marseille, even proving lucky enough to play alongside Joey Barton during his excursion to France.
When he left the Stade Velodrome in 2015 he did so with 198 appearances, eight goals and one stunning Lucas Moura goal scuppered.
Great goals that never were:
Lucas Moura runs from his own half past the entire Marseille defence before Rod Fanni’s desperate dive keeps it out. pic.twitter.com/0PkjYqKH2n
— GoalScorer Challenge (@GoalscorerC) November 18, 2019
CB: Carlos Bocanegra
When the Fulham favourite left Craven Cottage in 2008, he moved to Rennes.
In his first season in Ligue 1, Bocanegra played every league game and helped the club reach the Coup De France final. The American even scored the opening goal at the Stade de France, although they were eventually beaten by Guingamp.
A year later he made the move to Saint-Etienne. Bocanegra is now retired and technical director of MLS side Atlanta United.
CB: Joris Gnagnon
Gnagnon was one of Europe’s most highly-rated centre-backs when he left Rennes for Sevilla in 2018, but it has been a troubled time for the 24-year-old since.
His most famous moment came in a pre-season friendly the summer of 2019 against Liverpool, kicking out at Yasser Larouci and causing the 18-year-old to go off on a stretcher.
Still, he’s a talented kid.
LB: Ramy Bensebaini
Bensebaini has become somewhat of a goal machine since leaving Rennes for Borrusia Monchengladbach in 2019.
In 98 games with Rennes, he scored three goals and assisted two more in 98 games. But in just his first 59 in Germany, he has netted 12 goals and set up another five.
He also scored both goals in a 2-1 win over perennial Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in December 2019.
The Brazillian has been a revelation at Elland Road this season, proving to be one of Marcelo Bielsa’s deadliest weapons in Leeds United’s impressive return to the top flight.
Raphinha only cost £16million and there is no doubt that many other clubs have been left wishing they had thrown a bid in the direction of Rennes first.
CM: Abdoulaye Doucoure
Now a regular with Everton, Doucoure initially made the move to Watford from Rennes in 2016 on the deadline day of the January transfer window.
Since then, the Frenchman has racked up 158 top-flight appearances, scoring 16 goals in the process. Frankly we remain amazed he stayed at Watford for as long as he did.
CM: Yann M’Vila
Former Rennes manager Frederic Antonetti once said of M’Vila: “He reads the game like Claude Makelele, has the presence of Patrick Vieira and can pass the ball like Yaya Toure.”
It is no wonder he was constantly linked with a move to Arsenal. He instead moved to Ruben Kazan before loan moves to Inter Milan and Sunderland, all of which were punctuated with some sort of controversy.
The 31-year-old can now be found playing in Greece with Olympiakos.
LW: Ousmane Dembele
With Ilkay Gundogan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan leaving for Manchester City and Manchester United respectively in 2016, Borussia Dortmund brought Dembele in from Rennes for around €13million.
Ten goals and 49 appearances later, the Frenchman was on the move again, costing Barcelona as much as €145million, purchased in the wake of Neymar’s transfer to PSG.
Ousmane Dembélé has just made it 3-2 to Dortmund with a lovely finish!
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 26, 2017
ST: Ismaila Sarr
Another player to take the Rennes-to-Watford route, the Hornets capture of Sarr was an impressive one in the summer of 2019.
Sarr caught the attention of the club by scoring 13 goals in 50 appearances in the 2018-19 season, convincing Watford to part with a reported £30million.
Sure, they were relegated a year later, but the 23-year-old has stuck around, scoring 13 goals in 2020-21 to help them win promotion straight back to the top-flight.
It’s not his favoured or natural position, but he did lead the line at times in Watford’s promotion-winning season, and sticking him up top means we can fit in both Raphinha and Ousmane Dembele out wide.
ST: Asamoah Gyan
Put the penalty miss against Uruguay out of your mind now. We’re not talking about that.
The Ghana legend spent three seasons with Rennes between 2008 and 2011, scoring 14 goals in 53 appearances, before moving to Sunderland.
In just over one campaign with the club, he bagged 11 goals in 37 appearances, including a 94th-minute equaliser against Newcastle United.