20 years at La Gaillette: the five best players who trained at RC Lens

RC Lens training center, La Gaillette, opened in October 2002. It’s celebrating its 20th anniversary! (©Illustration/actu Pas-de-Calais/FB)

Real The Artois monument celebrates its 20th anniversary This year. It was opened in October 2002 Gaillett put out 20 candles in 2022.

Center for Teaching and Learning RC Lens Located in Avion, it has spawned many talents over the past two decades. this is ours Top 5 players training at La Gaillette.

1 – Raphael Varane

Except who else Raphael Varane take first place in this summit? From Lille, looking very young, he arrived in Lens in 2002. The defender won all the club’s youth ranks before making his professional debut in the 2010-2011 season.

He played his first match against Montpellier and was unstoppable. Despite his good performances and his goal on matchday 34, Raphaël Varane can’t help Racing stay in Ligue 1. He will eventually join Real Madrid for €10 million in the summer transfer window.

Today, Manchester United thrives on past blood and gold. In particular, he will have won 4 Champions Leagues and three championships with the Merengues and a World Cup with France.

2 – Gael Kakuta

When we talk about La Gaillette, another name immediately comes to mind: it Gael Kakuta. The Congolese international made his debut for Artois in 1999. According to observers at the time, Kakuta was a true phenomenon with insane talent.

Like Varane, the highly technical and elegant playmaker floats in the youth teams. But unlike the world champion, Gael Kakuta will not start at Lens, but at Chelsea, where he joined in 2007. Unfortunately, his career did not go in the expected direction.

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Gaël Kakuta returned to RC Lens in 2020.  He currently plays for Amiens.
Gaël Kakuta returned to RC Lens in 2020. He currently plays for Amiens. (©Archives/pas-de-Calais news/FB)

The Congolese will be scouted by 11 clubs until 2020 and is back at Lens after Sang et Or’s promotion to Ligue 1. Gaël Kakuta is back at Amiens, this time in Ligue 2.

3 – Benjamin Bourigeaud

A large part of the fans are asking for him to return, but today he is having a great adventure with Stade Rennais. Benjamin Bourigeau is one of the rare satisfactions of RCL’s difficult years in Ligue 2. Originally from Kalezis, the midfielder wore the colors of the club in 2013-2017.

A lovely, hard-working, good passer, the former lensois played more than 100 games for Lens and is remembered by many fans, especially thanks to the last-second goal in the victory at Valenciennes. September 2016. Come Home Benjamin!

4 – Serge Aurier

Passed by PSG, Tottenham or Villarreal, Serge Aurier One of the best players trained at La Gaillette. He played his first match against the Ivory Coast national team in 2009 at the age of 16.

The right-back quickly became a starting XI, but he left Artois in 2012 to join Toulouse. At that time, Racing should have brought money to the coffers.

His fine performances in Toulouse led him to Paris and then to Tottenham. Serge Aurier is still in the Premier League to this day, wearing the colors of Nottingham Forest.

5 – David Pereira DaCosta

To round out this top 5, the player currently wearing the blood and gold tunic! This is “The Little Princess of La Gaillette”, David Pereira da Costa. The 21-year-old Portuguese attacking midfielder signed his first professional contract with the club in 2019.

RC Lens coach Franck Haise was one of the first to trust him when coaching the reserve team. Slowly, the promising Portuguese international established himself in the first team and scored his first goal in March 2021 against AS Saint-Etienne.

David Pereira Da Costa is now unstoppable in the RCL XI.
David Pereira Da Costa is now unstoppable in the RCL XI. (©Archives/pas-de-Calais news/FB)

David Pereira Da Costa is no longer out of Franck Haise’s starting XI this season and continues his dazzling progress. There is no doubt that the Portuguese will have a very good career, we hope to see him in Bollaert as much as possible.

Over the past 20 years, Lens has produced other very good players. Special mention Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Thorgan Hazard, Simon Banza, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Wylan Cyprien or Adele Taarabt. La Gaillet still has a bright future ahead of him.

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