France international Sebastien Corchia is confident Lille will bounce back in 2017-18 after a disappointing Ligue 1 season as Marcelo Bielsa prepares to take the reins.
While it has been a tremendous season for full-back Corchia personally – resulting in his international debut and reported interest from Arsenal, Sevilla, Roma and Napoli – Lille have struggled.
After qualifying for the Europa League in 2015-16 and losing in the third qualifying round last year, Lille are set to finish anywhere between 11th and 14th ahead of their final match of the season at home to Nantes on Saturday.
But with former Argentina and Chile head coach Bielsa set to usher in an exciting new era at Stade Pierre-Mauroy next season – led by businessman Gerard Lopez – Corchia knows better times are ahead.
Reflecting on his season, Corchia – who is out of contract at the end of next term and is undecided on where he will be playing in 2017-18 – told Omnisport: “I am proud of my debut for France. Since last year, I have been a regular in the France squad, and it is an enormous motivation for me.
“It gives me some extra appetite to go out and give everything I have in me every day at training to develop myself and to be fully fit and ready for every game with Lille.
“It has been a difficult and disappointing season for us as a club, but Lille will bounce back with this new project.
“For me personally it has been fantastic to be in the France team. Playing for Les Bleus has been my dream ever since I was a child, and the ambition has only grown since I was a part of my country’s different youth selections and the captain of the France U21 team.”
Corchia has been a mainstay in Lille’s starting XI this season, playing in all 37 matches so far.
The 26-year-old has only missed two minutes of action, tallying 3,328 minutes on the field – the second most among outfield players in Ligue 1 this season behind Nantes’ Lucas Lime (3,330).
“It is a special feeling and my highest number ever – but I am also a bit annoyed with the two minutes missing,” said Corchia, who ranks first among right-backs in Ligue 1 for most duels won.
“Having said that, I must say that I am used to playing a lot every season. I have always done that. I guess the stats speak for themselves – for example having played 101 league games for Lille in only three seasons. The secret behind the numbers is the invisible work every day at training – and my full dedication to football. I always stay fit both physically and mentally throughout the season.”
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