In 2020, when Damien Comolli took over the reins of Téfécé after the Club was taken over by RedBird Capital Partner, also owner of AC Milan, no one imagined such a rise. Because yes, Toulouse was in perdition, after twenty years spent in the elite. But Ligue 2 was only a formality, especially under the orders of Philippe Montanier, candidate for the takeover of the France Espoirs team. Crushing the second division thanks to its formidable attack (82 achievements in total) and a historic Branco van den Boomen (12 goals, 20 assists), the Toulouse found the highest level last year. And how.

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By keeping its executives, the Pink City Club held on, without much difficulty, and could even have done better than an already decent 13th place. Not visibly enough to keep Philippe Montanier, dismissed from his post last June. Yet winner of the Coupe de France, the first for 66 years, by beating FC Nantes in the final (5-1), the former coach of Real Sociedad did not seem to meet all the expectations issued by data, at the center of Toulouse politics.

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The Tef is plundered

The TFC is far from being the first, nor the last club to see its executives leave for bigger teams. But the observation is there, and it could be terrible in the future. Brecht Dejaegere to MLS, Stijn Spierings left for RC Lens and playmaker Branco van den Boomen returned home to Ajax, Toulouse lost their entire midfield, which was the city's heyday for 3 seasons now. Without forgetting Maxime Dupé, new goalkeeper of Anderlecht and Rhys Healey, now at Watford. common point between all these executives: all left the southwest freely. A failure for Damien Comolli, who will not realize any capital gains. A huge risk especially, for the new coach, Carles Martinez Novell, right arm of the president.

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But the TFC is not done yet. If Rafael Ratão has made it possible to replenish the coffers (2.5 M€ at EC Bahia), Farès Chaïbi could also pack his bags, in Germany this time. Announced with insistence on the side of Frankfurt, the young nugget (5 goals, 5 assists in Ligue 1 last season) should indeed know the same trajectory as Manu Koné, Nathan Ngoumou (Borussia Mönchengladbach) and other Amine Adli (Bayer Leverkusen). The data will have to work miracles. Faced with the avalanche of departures, the bets made by Toulouse this summer will have to pay off. Niklas Schmidt, Ibrahim Cissoko and Frank Magri on attacking work, Cristian Cásseres Jr and César Gelabert in midfield, but also in the cages, where the very young Guillaume Restes should start as a starter. At only 18 years old, the doorman trained at the TFC will have the difficult task of replacing Maxime Dupé. Excellent in the victory of his family against ace Roma (2-1), the Pitchoun probably hopes to experience the same rise as Alban Lafont at the time, launched in the elite before being of age, at 16 years old . Mamady Bangré, author of an attractive season at Quevilly Rouen, was also transcendent against the Giallorossi. A good omen for trying to carve out a place on wings that are ultimately sparse.

A season under pressure

The expectation is not the same, not the same anymore. Toulouse FC is entering the big leagues, at least next season, with Europa League matches to add to an already busy schedule. Next September, the Violets will know their future opponents in this competition, won by Sevilla last year. Enough to keep a whole people in suspense, well destined to vibrate in the European Cup. Attention, Ligue 1 is not to be neglected either. Worse, the latter could well be of a level never seen before, with only 18 Clubs in the championship and therefore more than 34 days to prove itself. Fewer matches therefore, but much more level. The TFC, with all its losses and all its bets, will have a lot to do to confirm the hopes placed on the Pink City Club.

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Under the impetus of their new Spanish tactician, who worked for FC Barcelona, some players have no choice but to reveal themselves, or even explode. Thijs Dallinga (12 goals in 36 days) and Zakaria Aboukhlal (10 goals and 5 assists in Ligue 1) are now the only leaders of the Toulouse attack, pending the probable departure of Farès Chaïbi. In the middle, Vincent Sierro, recruited last summer, will have to ensure the captaincy, but also the game of his team. Behind, Logan Costa, freshly inducted holder after his formidable Coupe de France last year, will form a solid pair on paper with Rasmus Nicolaisen, well helped by Gabriel Suazo left lane. Téfécé will be scrutinized more than ever

is this season. The Surprise Team is no more. Make way for confirmation, despite the sometimes exotic recruitment which is difficult to read upstream. In the ultimate, the greatest certainty is perhaps not on the field, but outside, with a stadium audience always there. To be continued.