Abdoulaye Niakhate Ndiaye, the huge sensation in the defense of Bastia

At 20, the young Senegalese defender on loan from Lyon never ceases to amaze his world. Since the second day, he has not left his place in central defense and is one of the great satisfactions of the start of the Bastia season. A boy with a future to watch closely.

He arrived on tiptoe, unknown to the battalion, with zero professional matches played. It is true that at first glance, many Bastia supporters wondered what Abdoulaye Ndiaye, a 20-year-old kid, was going to be able to do at Sporting. His first match played in Niort, during which he also scored his very first goal of his career on a devastating whim, was enough to convince the Turchinu people.

In training, the young man quickly found his marks and was adopted by his partners. Maguette Diongue, his roommate and Antony Robic, “he’s my big brother, my ancestor”, as he calls him.

Born in the suburbs of Dakar, Abdoulaye Ndiaye started football like everyone else, in the street with his friends, with the bare minimum, like most Senegalese children, where there are hundreds and hundreds of them playing until no time in the dust of tinkered grounds and wearing out these old and precious balloons while fearing their puncture.

He has qualities, the kid, and integrates a football school. Already a chance. He learns the basics, the rules, finds his job and has fun with those of his age. Spotted quickly, he still stands out and joins the Dakar Sacré-Coeur club. “The reputation of the Dakar Sacré-Coeur is second to none in Senegal, explains the defender. When the club is interested in you, you have potential. »

A good starting point for the teenager who then dreams of obviously becoming a professional footballer and succeeding in Europe. But here again, many are called and few are chosen, and the paths are often punctuated by promises that do not come to fruition.

Being a partner of Olympique Lyonnais since 2015, many recruiters come and go throughout the year to unearth young talents. Very quickly, Abdoulaye is detected by one of them and takes the plane towards Lyon. In the capital of Gaul, the boy discovers state-of-the-art infrastructure and renowned trainers. Unfortunately, his hitherto linear course will suffer its first hitches.

“I had bad luck,” he said. I arrived at the end of September, the season with the reserve in N2 had already started, by the time I got my bearings the championship stopped because of the Covid. We kept training and I even trained with the pros, but we lacked competition. The following season, I had a string of red cards and injuries. I only played about fifteen matches. »

“I had never seen an atmosphere like this”

Even if his beginnings are not easy, OL believe and bet a lot on the Senegalese by extending his contract until 2025. Just before loaning him to Sporting at the start of the summer so that he can save playing time Well aware that this new experience is a huge opportunity, the boy does not intend to miss it.

“This is the decisive season for me. Lyon counts on me a lot and Bastia trusted me, I don’t want to disappoint them. But I was very well received by my teammates. I did not know the Bastia club, I had heard of it, but nothing more. I love the atmosphere here, I love this warrior spirit. »

His first match on the lawn of Niort, 90 minutes completed, followed by good performances, except for the collective sinking at Geoffroy-Guichard, for the time being it is “almost” faultless for the young Senegalese. We even forgive him for his poor control in the last minutes of the match against Dijon. An error that almost cost the SCB dearly.

“I said to myself: ouch ouch ouch, I’m not going to screw everything up now anyway? He explains, laughing. Fortunately, Johny (Placide), deflects it onto the post. I was hot ! We deserved to win, to be equalized would have been cruel. »

The storm passed, the SCB resumed colors after their victory against the Dijonnais. A victory won with guts, in an electric atmosphere and a lot of tension. In short, a Furiani on fire which is not to displease the defender.

“We all questioned ourselves after Saint-Etienne. In a season, there are always ups and downs, we must not let go. We proved against Dijon that we had to stay united, that we had to fight. Personally, even if it was not my first at Furiani, I had never seen an atmosphere like that. »

It is with the heads back in place that the Bastiais calmly approach their trip to Nîmes on Saturday. Abdoulaye Ndiaye and his teammates are warned and expected at the turn. But the boy keeps his cool and relishes his professional debut. Holder at the age of 20 in a club as popular as Sporting, the Senegalese international U20 has a career that is reaching out to him. The future belongs to him.

By Corsica Morning

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