Côte d'Ivoire: Oumar Diakité's form could give Emerse Faé ideas

Côte d'Ivoire: Oumar Diakité's form could give Emerse Faé ideas

Since the end of the Africa Cup of Nations, 20-year-old Oumar Diakité has been impressive with Stade de Reims. Scorer of 3 goals and 1 assist in 4 starts, the Elephant has developed his positioning by playing as a center-forward with his club in recent weeks. This should give Emerse Faé some ideas for the upcoming friendlies.

His winning goal at the end of extra time (120th +2), which secured Côte d'Ivoire's place in the African Cup semi-finals against Mali (2-1), will live forever in the memories of Elephants fans. Oumar Diakité was unable to keep his wits about him when he was sent off for a second yellow card for taking off his shirt. While everyone knows the rest of the story with this continental crown for the Elephants, the post-AFCON period has been more than rewarding for the "Wourou Wourou".


3 goals and 1 assist since his return to the AFCON

This African champion status sounds like the start of a career for Oumar Diakité. Back in Reims, the ASEC Mimosas-trained player has the appetite of an elephant. 5 games played, including 4 as a starter: 3 goals and 1 assist. Les Rémois have rediscovered a player who has undergone a metamorphosis and is keen to make his mark with his club and in the French league. His performances became more credible when he put in an XXL performance at the Parc des Princes on March 10, against Paris SG (2-2). With a goal and an assist, his speed, liveliness and positional sense put the Ligue 1 leaders' defenders to the test throughout the game. Scorer against RC Lens and FC Metz, Oumar Diakité is considered an important player at Stade de Reims by his coach. "He brings a big athletic dimension, puts a lot of pressure on the opposing defense and we really need him in that position (center-forward, he plays right-winger for his national team). Of course, he still has some work to do, as we saw with his missed chance. But it's very positive," said Will Still after the 1-1 draw with RC Lens.


A future with the Elephants as a striker?

The change is in his replacement.Known for his dribbling and acceleration down the flank, Oumar Diakité is a hard-hitting player capable of emerging victorious from duels at any moment. He proved this at the AFCON under Jean Louis Gasset and then Emerse Faé. Since his return to Reims, however, his position as center-forward has paid off. Used as an axial striker alongside Japanese international Junya Ito in a 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 formation, the 20-year-old's tactical evolution was immediately apparent.In this part of the pitch, he becomes even more dangerous.

Fast, powerful and now skilful in front of goal, this could give Emerse Faé some ideas, why not as early as this Ivory Coast gathering, when they face Benin (March 23) and Uruguay (March 26). With Sébastien Haller injured since the end of the AFCON, the Elephants lack an axial striker capable of expressing himself and being effective. Ahead of the AFCON 2025 and World Cup 2026 qualifiers, Emerse Faé has an opportunity to take advantage of Oumar Diakité's current form and his repositioning at club level to make him the Elephants' next striker.

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