Currently having the time of his life at Brentford, Neal Maupay is, as things stand, the Championship’s top scorer with 10 goals in his first 10 games of the season.
Picking up another at the weekend in a 1-1 draw against top of the table Leeds, as well as captaining the club for the first time, the 22-year-old is becoming one of their most important assets.
Feeling ‘very good’ and ‘confident’, Maupay sat down with Ouest-France to discuss how things were going, where he explained he was now ‘totally integrated’ at the club, wanting to build on his fantastic start.
One of his goals for the season, as well as helping Brentford finish as high up the Championship table as possible, is playing in next summer’s U21 Euros for France in Italy.
He said: “Of course I’d like to be a part of it. I’ve played in all categories for France. It’s been a while since I’ve been there, but I’ve always given my all for France. I loved being a part of it, but now I’m like everyone else. I need to be good with my club to stand a chance”.
That’s something he’s very much doing these days, but, unlike those playing in the ‘big’ leagues around Europe, he feels the lack of coverage the Championship gets in France is a problem for him.
He continued: “Yes, maybe. I don’t know how people view the Championship in France, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t really get hung up on it. The goal is to be performant with Brentford. I tell myself that if I continue to score, to play well, maybe I’ll get my chance at some point or another”.
Arriving during the summer of 2017 from Saint-Etienne, the young striker took some time to adapt, scoring ‘just’ 13 goals last season.
Inspiring himself from the likes of Sergio Agüero and Luis Suarez, Maupay just wants to continue to develop as a player with Brentford, whom he joined because of their desire to sign him.
He said: “After my loan with Brest, I returned to Saint-Etienne, but I didn’t feel the trust that I had in Brest and that I needed to express myself. That’s why I decided to come here. It’s the club that wanted me the most, and they knew me off by heart. They really showed me they wanted me”.