Jonathan Clauss: A Rising Star Ignites the Field in France’s Triumph

Jonathan Clauss seems to draw inspiration from the vibrant Johan Cruyff Arena. This versatile venue witnessed his prowess in the Europa League on September 21, where the Blues faced Ajax in a thrilling encounter, ending in a 3-3 draw. During this match, Clauss, making his seventh appearance and third as a starter, showcased an immediate flair.

Let’s rewind to the moment when he soared down the right flank, receiving a slick one-touch pass from Griezmann, deftly relayed by Coman. With precision, his cross found the inevitable Mbappé, sealing the goal in the 7th minute. A seamless and skillful performance marked the dynamic start for the 31-year-old from Strasbourg.

More than a year since his last selection in Denmark on September 25, 2022, Clauss, now shining, exhibits fiery legs and resilience. Collaborating seamlessly with Kingsley Coman, he tirelessly contributes to offensive maneuvers while maintaining concentration in defensive duties. A notable moment occurred when he lost the ball, resulting in a significant Dutch opportunity in the 27th minute.

Given Jules Koundé’s absence due to injury, Clauss steps in as a credible alternative for the right-back position, a role where specialized players are relatively scarce in the French squad. Reflecting on his performance, he calmly shared on TF1 after the triumph against the Netherlands (2-1), “I decided to face myself this week by being less in the dream than the first times. I had only one idea in mind: to be ready for this match. On the assist, I don’t even remember if I was happy. With a little perspective, I enjoy it.”

Adopting a piston role under Igor Tudor’s protection, Clauss initially played right-back but saw Marcelino take over this summer. Despite a brief dip in form at the end of September, his strong start to the season logically earned him a return to the French national team.

Didier Deschamps, expressing his views on Clauss in the post-match press conference, commended the player, saying, “Jonathan had a lot of technical ease, good offensive participation. He has the right balance, he made a lot of effort, it was starting to work. He had tension in his thighs, that’s why I took him out. He seeks to verticalize, to move forward. It offers a very interesting profile.”

In the ongoing competition with Koundé, Clauss asserted his credentials against the Dutch, demonstrating a blend of defensive prowess and a unique ability to make a difference offensively, especially with his final passes. While Koundé maintains a slight advantage in the eyes of the coaching staff, Clauss is undeniably making significant strides. From Marseille to Amsterdam, he has overcome the disappointment of not being selected for the World Cup in Qatar and is clearly on an upward trajectory.

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