Denis Genreau arrived in France this summer and made his second consecutive Ligue 2 start for Toulouse Football Club, leading to promising performances for the rest of the season.
Denis Genreau, recruited by Toulouse Football Club this summer from Macarthur FC, has played several games for his new club, assisting in two successive games as well.
TFC, who narrowly missed out on promotion to Ligue 1 after losing to FC Nantes in the promotion play-offs (2-1, 0-1), are keen to join the elite of French football, as evidenced by their current position, first with an unbeaten run of nine games, including the league’s best attack with 20 goals.
A club destined to be promoted to the top flight of French football, Denis Genreau signed at the end of a superb season with the Macarthur Bulls (voted best player for the club’s inaugural season). A “good pick”, as Gaëtan, a supporter of the Toulouse club, points out, while indicatingt hat he has “a great stamina and a crazy volume of play”.
Thrusted into the action
Accustomed to a number eight role with the freedom to climb up the pitch in Australia and even in a defensive role behind Markel Susaeta, Philippe Montanier (his current coach), prefers to use him in an offensive midfield position.
He has a more scoring-orientated approach, and in his second match against Dijon FCO he won a penalty (a shot that was deflected by the opposition), as well as contributing a few shots that were just shy of the target, in an exercise that he knows too little about.
In the A-League, in his full season with Macarthur, he scored only twice in 23 games.
Where Denis Genreau was able to showcase his talent was in his simple play, he has tremendous ball dribbling and his ability to keep up with the pace, as illustrated in the 180 minutes he played between the 18th of September and Tuesday the 21st of September.
A physical legacy from the A-League. Placed twice in the starting eleven – against Grenoble Foot 38 (4-1 win) and against USL Dunkerque (2-0 win) – Genreau who normally started with numerous cameo appearances in order to adapt to Ligue 2 was thrown into the deep end and was able to respond thanks to two assists.
One of these assists were the opening goal against Grenoble with a perfectly weighted cross, then, following a good ball recovered against Dunkerque, he immediately served his teammate Rhys Healey for the second goal.
With this confidence gained on the pitch, Genreau is now working on his statistics against a more experienced midfield. His two starts, in a busy period of the calendar (three games in ten days), have already put him on the third place of the standings of the most assists within Ligue 2 players, with Mikkel Desler (midfielder, right-back) and Stijn Spierings (defensive midfielder) also having two assists, with almost 560 minutes played less than Desler and 300 minutes less than Spierings.
Encouraging and in line with the expectations of his new role, even if Branco van den Boomen holds the lead with six assists, the only thing that Genreau will need is a first goal, which Dorian says “is coming soon”.
An attitude welcomed by the fans
In an interview with France’s arm of beIN Sports, Denis Genreau had already spoken of a superb integration into the region (where he shares family ties with part of his family in Montpellier) and into the club with his new teammates.
On the pitch, he has already caught the eye of his new fans, Gaëtan explains:
“He has a wide enough range that he almost makes you forget that he is only 22 years old.
“Montanier knows that either as a starter or when coming off the bench he can make a difference.”
Even with a tooth loose, against Grenoble, his first start was greeted with unanimous approval
“I like it a lot. You can feel that he is open, close to the fans, but what surprised me the most was on the pitch. From Grenoble onwards, during the match he was there, applauding his team-mates when they got the ball, encouraging them, etc. It doesn’t look like much, but we in Toulouse like this enthusiasm” Gaëtan said.
There is still a long way to go until the end of the season, but the foundations are already solid and Graham Arnold, Australia’s national coach, could take advantage of this complete midfield role in the future of the Socceroos’ eleven for the upcoming qualifiers against Oman and Japan.