Pentz, Danso and Cham, the three Austrians in Ligue 1 who could play against the Blues


Patrick Pentz (goalkeeper, Reims), 3 caps

At 25, the goalkeeper has only three caps, and he had to wait until March 29 to honor his first selection, against Scotland (2-2), replacing Daniel Bachmann (78th) at the very end of the match. His lack of reference at the international level did not prevent him from shining against France, during the first leg of this League of Nations (1-1, June 10). Pentz had made several impressive saves, such as his reflex on the ground with his left hand, on a point-blank header from Benzema (18th), and he had been credited with a 8 in our columns.

Patrick Pentz had been the best Austrian against the Blues in the first leg.  (S. Mantey/The Team)

Patrick Pentz had been the best Austrian against the Blues in the first leg. (S. Mantey/The Team)

This performance must have prompted the leaders of Reims to recruit him from Austria Vienna, especially since he was free. Twice elected best goalkeeper in the Austrian Championship (in 2021 and 2022), Pentz has not yet shone, for the moment, since his arrival in Champagne. The proof: the native of Salzburg even lost his place during the last L1 meeting against Monaco, in favor of Yehvann Diouf. "He must learn to position himself better according to his defenders" and especially "to be decisive"said President Jean-Pierre Caillot.

Kevin Danso (defender, Lens), 10 caps

He is the oldest of the three with the "Rot-Weiss-Roten" ("the Reds-Whites-Reds") since he obtained his first cap in 2017. International in all categories of young people, including Espoirs, the 24-year-old defender has had a special trajectory, since he evolved as a striker during his training at English club Reading before taking the measure of various positions at Milton Keynes Dons. Born to Ghanaian parents, Danso moved to Great Britain at the age of six, which explains his singular journey.

Kevin Danso behind Karim Benzema during Austria-France (1-1).  (S. Mantey/The Team)

Kevin Danso behind Karim Benzema during Austria-France (1-1). (S. Mantey/The Team)

Turning professional in Augsburg, where he became the youngest player in club history to play in the Bundesliga (at 18 years and 165 days), Danso was then loaned out twice before being recruited by Lens the year last for €5.5 million. Able to play in the middle, the polyglot, qualified as "face" by Franck Haise, sometimes remembers his youth, as he scored three times with the Sang et Or. consistently and also knows how to turn into a launching pad for his team with his short passes.

Muhammed Cham (midfielder, Clermont), 0 selection

He has his body full of tattoos and Muhammed Cham will perhaps add one as soon as possible. This season is the hatching season for him and the almost 22-year-old player (he will have them on September 26), called up for the first time in the selection, could make his debut with his country during this gathering. If he signed in Clermont in 2020, the creative environment was loaned the two previous seasons, first to Vendsyssel, in Danish D2, then to Austria Lustenau, in Austrian D2 (the satellite club of Clermont), where he scored 15 goals, provided 12 assists, won the league title and was voted player of the year.

Muhammed Cham in action with Clermont.  (A. Martin/The Team)

Muhammed Cham in action with Clermont. (A. Martin/The Team)

His Auvergne career has therefore really started since August and it is a success: after eight days, Cham has three goals, the best total for a Clermontois, and an assist. Result: his contract has already been extended until 2025, with an optional year. “At the start, he wanted to show too much and sometimes lacked accuracy, had explained his trainer Pascal Gastien in our columns. But after discussions, he simplified his game.. And as the player, with the delicious left paw, knew how to apply the request of his coach, everything became more complicated for his opponents.



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