Scout Report: Ludovic Blas

Nationality: France

Age: 23 (31.12.1997)

Club: Nantes

Position: CAM / RW / SS

Foot: Left

Matches: 39

Goals & Assists: 11 ⚽️ 4 🎯 

Nantes narrowly avoided demotion, finishing 18th & were required to win the Ligue 1 relegation playoff against 3rd placed Ligue 2 side, Toulouse. After a tumultuous season that saw 9 wins, 13 draws & 16 defeats, Nantes ended on a positive beating Toulouse over 2 legs by the away goals ruling (2-2 aggregate score). Much of the victory can be attributed to the impact of Ludovic Blas who was a creative spark over the 2 legs & scored the decisive opener at Stadium de Toulouse.

Since moving from EA Guingamp to Nantes in 2019 (estimated €7.2m deal), Blas has been an ever present figure in the Nantes team adding goals to his creative outputs. His versatility has lead him to be utilised in multiple formations throughout the season before Nantes settled on the 4-4-2 & 4-4-1 setup. Through the settled upon setup, Nantes has utilised Blas natural ability as an attacking midfielder (CAM) to play a free role behind a lone Centre Forward, or as a Second Striker with a licence to roam & find space between the lines. In turn, this has lead to Blas being able to play closer to goal than previous seasons resulting in his highest goal return to date, & find greater spaces to orchestrate play.


Due to the tactical flexibility, Blas offers he’s able to operate in alternate defensive setups & styles. Blas is due to his tactical understanding from multiple positions can provide good cover for teammates in wide positions when caught out of position as he moves into an area to ensure overloads opportunities aren’t easily found. As a right sided attacker, he provides support to the full back & tracks the opposition runners in an attempt to provide the defence with additional support.

His work rate defensively suits the tactical setup as within his accustomed free role his defensive duties are less in favour of securing a position to press in his zone but to otherwise remain in open space. When the ball is in his zone he’ll press in an attempt to either regain possession or to cut out easy passing lanes as the team looks to build from the back. 

In the example below the Montpellier, CM collects the ball to process forward & Blas presses quickly to engage the opposition so that they aren’t able to drive forward. By applying pressure he can unbalance the CM, easing them away from the ball so that he can then challenge before the second Montpellier player can enter the duel & contest possession. Through Blas’ persistence & tenacity to he can push the ball away from both Montpellier players regaining possession & circulating possession to restart the building of a Nantes attack

Whilst the above example demonstrates Blas tenacity in an attempt to win possession this is still an area that Blas needs to improve in to provide greater support to the defence. He has the desire to go into contact & apply physical pressure to the opponent but in the 50/50 challenges & duels, he can be lightweight or clumsy trying to regain possession. As stated previously Blas is a willing presser of the opposition & can do so quickly at pace, but in a duel, his commitment to a tackle can be inconsistent or commits easy fouls. The example below demonstrates Blas eagerness to press with intensity as he first moves towards the CB, & displays his balance to change direction quickly to move out towards the LB. Initially, Blas does well to contain the Toulouse LB forcing him to turn back to goal applying good pressure, cutting off the passing lanes into either the Toulouse LM or LCM. Unfortunately, for Nantes Blas in his attempt to regain possession becomes impatient & clumsy exerting too much force against the LB ultimately knocking him to the ground relieving pressure.

Instances such as the above, can relieve pressure on the opposition & provide an opportunity to reset with the ball as Blas becomes overly intent to win the ball. This can also lead to him trying to win possession whilst off balance, therefore, lacking the necessary force to regain possession or whilst shielded against leading to lunges. Although, there are areas for improvement in his defensive capabilities he does provide good pressing especially in a high press tactic & in a free role his ability to find space provides his teammates with an out ball when possession is regained. Whilst him being “free” may seem detrimental to the team’s defensive structure it has its advantages as ensures the opposition CM has to be aware of his position to not over commit, therefore, drawing oppositions players out of their attack to monitor Blas.

Close Control

Blas is utilised by Nantes as one of their main ball carriers where they benefit from his close control & ability to move whilst in possession at pace to drive them forward. With the ball at his feet, he can demonstrate his high technical ability which translates into quality close control, dribbling & quickness in his feet to move the ball between either foot as he moves. In addition to the high technical ability, Blas has a good centre of gravity which enables him to turn sharply changing his direction of travel retaining his balance as he does so. To maintain this at speed relies on his agility to move his body without losing his centre of gravity & therefore becoming unbalanced, especially as he comes into contact with opposition defenders looking to gain an advantage.

An example in his ability to move with the ball quickly, maintain control of the ball at pace & balance under pressure from the opposition was demonstrated well against Toulouse in the below. As stated previously Blas will look to position himself in space in defensive situations to provide a quick transitional option for Nantes, as the ball breaks loose he is situated behind the LCM of Toulouse (#8) on the half turn with open space in front of him to drive with the ball. Blas has a good level of anticipation of the situation & that the #8 has an opportunity to challenge. Therefore, utilises his upper body strength & body to leverage the #8 away from the ball shielding effectively leaving only the option of lunge for possession. Blas is then able to use his pace to burst forwards into space in the right hand flank drawing the attention of the Toulouse #8 & #3 pulling both into a wide position, where it appears Blas has isolated himself.

What Blas intelligently does is to slow down his pace in possession to invite #3 into committing to a challenge. Once the movement which Blas was waiting for comes he pushes the ball forward deftly into the space using his strength to ride the challenge & pace to burst into the open space. His awareness of the potential danger to Toulouse defence leads him to play into the Nantes CF who is in open space with a potential 2v1 scenario against the Toulouse RCB with the LM sprinting forward on the far side to join the attack. Unfortunately for Nantes, the move broke down & the advantage was lost, but Blas ability to move with the ball ensured they were able to transition quickly into attack & ask questions of Toulouse defensively.

Blas has great confidence in his ability to carry the ball for Nantes & will look to drop deep when needed to collect before looking to create opportunities in attack. When Blas is in possession he can be difficult to dispossess whilst moving at pace as has tight control of the ball & good upper body strength. This was demonstrated against Montpellier (below) where he comes deep to collect the ball before deciding to take the ball forward, initially the opposition LB does well to force him out wide away from supporting teammates. As he did against Toulouse #3, Blas slows the pace to draw in the challenge for the ball before using a turn of pace & strength to push beyond the challenging Montpellier Left Back. From here Blas has pulled the LB out of position as well as the LM (#7) who is forced to cover, which Blas takes advantage of recognising the body position of #7 is heading towards the byline. Intelligently Blas changes direction sharply deftly sliding the ball between the legs of #7 before driving towards the area of Montpellier where Blas is eventually bundled over, but deemed to have gone down to easily under a clumsy challenge.

In all Blas quality enables him to consistently receive the ball in tight spaces for Nantes and to either drive the ball forward or to relieve pressure before moving the ball into a position to recirculate possession. His ability in possession ensures he is a useful tool in a counter attacking set up as his awareness of space enables him to receive the ball before driving directly at the defence of the opposition. He is intelligent & aware leading him to understand when to slow down possession & look to earn fouls to relieve pressure on the defence, but equally adept to recognise when to try & pull the opposition out of position to create pockets of space for teammates to exploit.


Despite Blas only having 4 assists to his name this season this isn’t a reflection of his ability as he has good vision & the ability to find his teammates between the lines or in threatening positions to the opposition. He has a very good understanding of how to utilise space to provide himself time to picture the potential scenarios across the pitch also an innate ability to probe & exploit the opposition. Blas does favour dribbling with the ball & exploring pockets of space to always being heavily involved in the passing build up. Although, when in possession he looks to move Nantes forward playing between the lines or where possible exploiting spaces behind the defensive line.

As per the example (below), Blas is initially looking uninterested in the build up & walking in the inside left channel before the ball moves to the LB & he moves into a pocket of space in the left flank. As Blas receives the ball he draws the Toulouse RCB out of position shielding the ball so that a tackle isn’t possible. At this point, Toulouse RCB & RCM (#31) believe they have restricted Blas’ ability to progress the ball forward. Blas is aware of the situation & could make a simple pass back to the Nantes LB, but this would lead them to be under pressure from #31 who is poised to press in this situation. What Blas recognises is his teammate is already on the half turn ready to run in behind into the space, and chips the ball behind the defence resulting in an attacking opportunity for Nantes. Unfortunately, Nantes lack the quality to take advantage of the opportunity & Toulouse remove that danger. What the sequence demonstrates is Blas can draw attention to himself, before choosing the right moment to exploit the oppositions positioning.

Blas awareness of developing situations is impressive as he is able to control the pace of the possession to draw opponents & ability to disguise his intentions. Against Montpellier, he positions himself in open space to receive the ball, as he advances the defence compacts blocking passes into the Nantes CF & RM. Blas has surveyed where his teammates are then draws the RCB & RCM closer before playing a no look pass across the area to the on rushing CM who arrives unopposed & in space but unfortunately shoots over & wide.

Blas awareness of developing situations is impressive as he is able to control the pace of the possession to draw opponents & able to disguise his intentions. Against Montpellier, he positions himself in open space to receive the ball, as he advances the defence compacts blocking passes into the Nantes CF & RM. Blas has surveyed where his teammates are then draws the RCB & RCM closer before playing a no look pass across the area to the on rushing CM who arrives unopposed & free from a marker but unfortunately shoots over & wide.

Much of Blas involvement is not in heavy possession based build up but his ability to find his teammates would enable him to connect play before executing incisive passes as per the below example. As Nantes LCB receives the ball, Blas is aware of the open space & moves into the left hand channel to receive the ball, allowing the LB to move ahead as he drops back providing a pass to continue with possession. Blas continues to orchestrate the play in the LB position travelling slightly before playing a 1-2 with the Nantes LCM compacting the Toulouse team on the left hand side, with Blas seemingly happy to simply recycle possession. This triggers the press from the CF of Toulouse who Blas pass easily dropping his shoulder before advancing drawing 3 Toulouse players towards him. Blas showcases his accuracy & vision by anticipating the Nantes CF running in behind sliding a pass through the opposition players to put Nantes through via the inside channel.

In the existing set up at Nantes Blas is encouraged to find spaces & move with the ball over being involved in the buildup. He does have the ability to find teammates which would allow him to operate in either a more counter attacking direct passing style or link play as part of a possession orientated set up. Should Blas become more involved with the build up & continue to find the spaces between the lines as he does he could very well create more opportunities with his incisive passing & vision.


This season has seen the biggest improvement in Blas outputs in terms of goals & is due in part to his understanding of space helping him to arrive at the right time to take advantage of the opportunities created. In addition to his movement & spatial awareness, his technical quality ensures that he’s able to strike the ball cleanly with power when the opportunity arises. His involvement in the Nantes attack has been greatly impacted but the tactical approach to allow Blas a free role either alongside or behind the CF, allowing him a more central role & freedom to roam.

In the 1st leg against Toulouse, the free role of Blas was causing issues as his movement made him difficult to mark & demonstrated good positioning to consistently find space to exploit. The first half optimised his endeavour & attacking prowess as Blas was able to score within 10 minutes of play along with continually asking questions of the Toulouse defence as he dictated play. In the creation of the opener Blas drops to the halfway line receiving a pass from the LCB moving the ball onto the CF dropping deep to link play, & continue his run around the back of the CF to provide a potential option in behind. Blas anticipates that the CF will win the duel & continues his movement forward as his marker is drawn towards the ball which is eventually passed through into the path of then now unmarked Blas. As he approaches the area is aware that he has the pace advantage against the Toulouse RCB & smartly slows down his pace before using a burst of acceleration plus a slight change of direction to open the angle to shoot at goal. In the moment it takes for the RCB of Toulouse to readjust Bla shoots cleanly with power, low to the goalkeepers right, squeezing past him into the net. When firing with his left Blas is able to generate significant power with little backlift demonstrating his technical ability with this stronger foot.

In attack, Nantes rely on Blas’ intelligence to take up positions in space to break quickly at the opposition utilising his pace & ability to find teammates in space looking to orchestrate the creation of chances on the counter. His ability to recover the ball & intercept provides Nantes with a very good platform to counter attack the opponents as per the below, Blas drops deep to offer cover centrally. As the Toulouse RB plays a wayward pass Blas collects turning quickly & positioned directly behind the CM of Toulouse leaving him plenty of space to drive forward.

As Blas progresses he’s aware of the Toulouse RCM who is sprinting back to apply pressure attempting to close down space, but he is conscious of the Nantes CF unmarked in the inside left channel. Although the move ultimately breaks down once the ball is moved onto the CF, Blas progressed forward maintaining free space to receive a potential pass, but more importantly, he can be seen dictating playing instructing where the ball should be moved onto for the attack to continue.

The final example of Blas contribution to the attack & importance can be found in the below against Montepellier. As Nantes build in the left hand channel Blas demonstrates his ability to judge when to arrive late into the area to capitalise on the movements of the defence as they drop into their positions. Blas has the ability to arrive unmarked & in space which he manages to find himself between four Montpellier defenders, but he has the presence of mind to anticipate the RCB will continue to move to his left as Blas feints right before dropping his shoulder before driving onto his stronger left. Blas deft movement sends the RCB in the wrong direction leaving the RCM having to drop & try to apply pressure, with Blas movement across his path making it near impossible to challenge for the ball without committing a foul. Unfortunately, after the great work to find the space, driving into a shooting position his shot selection lets him down as he shots low & hard as the Goalkeeper comes forward to close down the angle.


To conclude at 23, Blas is developing his game & becoming the fulcrum of the Nantes attack with him an influential player who is consistently making key contributions for a struggling Nantes. His return of 15 goal contributions is his best to date with his abilities flourishing in a free role at CAM. Blas offers Nantes an intelligent player both in & out of possession able to understand how to utilise space to exploit the opposition in transition, also providing himself time to access the state of play. With his technical ability & adoption of the central free role Blas could very well improve on his contribution in attack as his innate ability to find space enables him to great opportunities to find teammates breaking the defensive lines.

This summer Blas could see interest from within Ligue 1 & beyond as he continues to demonstrate his flexibility being comfortable in multiple positions & tactical setups. Where Blas could excel is within a fast paced counter attacking team as he thrives when the game breaks down in the transitional phases, utilising his vision to find teammates breaking between the lines. Blas appears suited to a fast paced league & could flourish in the English Premier league as has a physical presence in possession along with the ability to work in tight high pressure situations.

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