Max-Alain Gradel bagged a double for Saint-Etienne against LOSC Lille at the weekend as his year just keeps on getting better and better.
Before leaving for Equatorial Guinea in January to represent the Cote d’Ivoire at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, Gradel had scored four goals in the whole of ASSE’s Ligue 1 campaign.
In only six matches since returning, he has managed six goals-his brace against Lille taking him up to an average of one goal-per-game since becoming an African champion in February.
Indeed, no one has been more central to the Stephanois’ push up the table and their superb attempts to nail down European qualification for next season.
Gradel demonstrated his class again against Lille, both with his movement and his dribbling, but also-notably-with his explosive finishing. Vincent Enyeama, one of the best goalkeepers in the division, had no chance for either of the winger’s efforts, while he could (and should) have had a hat-trick had Sebastien Corchia not blocked a first-half effort with his arm.
It’s hard to find any player in Ligue 1 who has made more of an impact in 2015 than Gradel has in his last six matches!