FM Scout is the only community you can talk Football Manager in real time. Here are 10 reasons to join!

Conor McDonald: The Student

Started on 18 April 2020 by Jack
Latest Reply on 3 September 2020 by ScottT
Two more loans to add some further quality and depth to the squad is more great business. Although, Benahmed seems much more of a fullback to me with his heading ability, as well as his pace and impressive crossing. Will be interested to see how Conor uses him.
Both of those signings are nothing out of the ordinary but will certainly aid squad rotation in a season where there will be plenty of depth required to handle the extra fixtures.

Bordeaux Sign Argentinian and Dutch Youngsters

Conor McDonald’s second busy summer in France has continued, finalising the transfers of Esteban Ruiz and Robbert de Kok for a combined fee of €17.75million.

Esteban Ruiz joins from the top-flight Argentinian side Rosario Central after graduating from their academy in 2023.

Ruiz instantly became a first-team player at the back for the Primera División side, making 20 league appearances in 2023/24.

Following his club’s relegation that season, he did not feature as much due to new signings made by Rosario but his team returned to the top-flight at the first time of asking.

Last season, Ruiz made a total of 31 appearances in all competitions and he even assisted 5 times in the league as his boyhood club finished 15th.

It is now being debated that due to his high amount of involvement in first-team proceedings in Argentina, if he will go straight into McDonald’s starting eleven this season, with some believing that he will be used a lot this season.

The second signing was the highest fee that McDonald has ever spent on a single player in his managerial career, splashing out €12million for Sparta Rotterdam’s right-winger Robbert de Kok.

McDonald has clearly seen a lot of potential in the 17-year-old since breaking through the ranks to make his first impact on the first-team with 8 Eredivisie starts last season with 1 goal and 1 assist to his name as Rotterdam finished 15th last season.

Due to Pierre Laurent and Gerson Sousa’s involvement in the first-team at Bordeaux, it is not likely that the Dutchman will see a lot of first-team action unless he forces his way through.

In other transfer news, there are rumours lurking around that Bordeaux are showing interest in Borussia Monchengladbach’s winger Moussa Diaby as well as FK Rad’s defensive midfielder Stavros Koumis and Defensor Sporting’s Rudy Muniz.

In the outgoings department, Aitor Garcia, Chris Knight, Serge Coulibaly and Ivan Revuelta have all left on season-long loan deals within the nation.

Permanently, South African midfielder Grant Margeman has signed for Ligue 1 side Strasbourg and Bordeaux’s number one goalkeeper Axel Werner has departed for a fee of €5,500,000 to Serie A side Empoli.

Seb: You're right with his attributes lending itself to be more of a wide player but a centre-back is essential for us at this moment in time so he may be interchanged.
Scott: Loan signings are having to be the way forward with budgets a fraction of PSG and Monaco's but still to compete. I think they're two great additions!
Two excellent signings. Ruiz, I agree, is one that can slot straight in whereas de Kok will have to wait for his opportunity. He absolutely has the potential though and I can understand the fee spent.
Ruiz looks an incredible signing and still very young he has years to develop. I am very excited to see how he turns out for you. The same could be said of de Kok. Although he has a bit more work to do yet before he will be first team material.

Diaby Signs Bordeaux Deal

The summer spending has continued at Girondins de Bordeaux with the €13,000,000 arrival of French winger Moussa Diaby from Gladbach.

The 27-year-old has penned a five-year deal at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, earning €70,000 per week at his new club.

Diaby started his career at the French champions Paris Saint-Germain and broke into the first-team following a successful loan spell at Crotone.

However, despite his successes in the French capital, he was sold for a €15,000,000 fee to Bundesliga outfit Bayer 04 Leverkusen in 2019. Due to several times out with injuries, Diaby did not make much impact at his new team until 2022.

However, once again as he was just beginning to get first-team football he was sold once again, this time to fellow Bundesliga rivals Gladbach for a cut-price deal of €6,500,000.

Diaby found it much easier to adjust and was a fairly important player for his new team. He was sent out on loan twice to both Hoffenheim and Basel last season where he won the Raiffesen Super League ahead of BSC Young Boys.

The signing of Moussa Diaby matches Bordeaux’s record fee of €13,000,000, last spent on Yoann Gourcuff all the way back to just after their Ligue 1 title win of 2009.

The club have spent a total of €31,500,000 this summer, giving fans a positive mindset going into the new season – the club’s first in the Champions League in 16 years.

Scott: Centre-back is an area we did need to replace with Gyllingberg leaving in January so Ruiz slots right in. De Kok needs a year in the development side with an intensive training programme which will be set out.
Seb: I'm a huge fan! I have a lot of hope for both players but with Ruiz almost hitting his full potential already, I feel like the future is bright for Robbert.
Ruiz would do well in a back-3 tbh, but his lack of height would be of concern if it's just two CB's next to each other. Diaby on the other hand!!! Brilliant signing, can be a little selfish [irl] so it'll be interesting to see if that side of his game is prevalent on the game too. The squad is starting to take shape, and the fans have every reason to be excited.
By the sounds of it, Diaby has lacked a consistent run at a permanent home so hopefully that can be provided to get the very best out of a once highly-rated player.

I can't believe that Gourcuff's record-transfer still stands so many years later!

McDonald Signs One-Year Contract Extension

Bordeaux fans woke up to delightful news this morning as their club announced the extension of Conor McDonald’s contract at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux.

The Englishman is Bordeaux’s seventh permanent manager since March 2019 and out of those seven, he has currently had the third-longest tenure – just over one hundred days behind Jindrich Trpisovsky and Fran Escribá.

Some could argue off the back of that statistic that McDonald has ended a turbulent period in the club’s history.

Since his arrival, McDonald has reorganized the backroom staff, the playing squad, the club have bought the stadium from the local government and his team have qualified for the Champions League for the first time in sixteen long, exhausting years for the fans.

The disastrous 192-day reign of Alain Perrin now seems a very long time ago considering the changes that have occurred under McDonald’s leadership.

Last season, McDonald recorded a 56% win percentage – the club’s highest since Gus Poyet’s 2018 effort before his sacking for criticising the board’s decision to sell Gaetan Laborde to Montpellier which was subsequently supported by a player strike.

With a newly built foundation of Bordeaux’s youth academy players breaking into the first-team as well as some external additions to the squad, things are beginning to look up for Les Girondins.

There is still some distance to go to catch the dominance of Paris Saint-Germain but as Olympique Lyonnais proved in 2022 – the task to topple the capital is not impossible – and that is where Bordeaux are seemingly headed with their 3rd place entry last season.

James: It's always a concern with the heights of defenders but ultimately there aren't too many *good*, tall strikers in our league that could perhaps get the better of him. As for Diaby, I have high hopes for him, coming in as one of the more experienced players.
Scott: All he needs is a place that loves him, bless him :P It certainly shows how much Bordeaux have been stifled in recent years by the economic growth of different teams in the league. However, it is a compliment to them that they have remained in the top ten without ridiculous spending!
Diaby is an interesting signing considering his seemingly lack of consistency in the past. However, I am sure a large part of that is down to the fact he hasn't been given a good run at any of his clubs. It'll be interesting to see if he matches the club record paid for him.

In regards to the new deal, excellent news to see Conor is committed to the long term project of the club. That stability, something Bordeaux have lacked in recent memory will be vital in attracting talent to the club and keeping existing stars here.

Bordeaux Overturn First Leg to Qualify for Group Stages

French football was the winner in the UEFA Champions League Playoff as Conor McDonald’s Bordeaux team defeated Dutch runners-up Ajax.

The two teams were drawn together following Bordeaux’s 7-3 aggregate win over Fenerbahce in the Third Qualifying Round. On the other hand, Ajax have had to see off one more team as they began their journey in the Second Qualifying Round against Club Brugges before smashing Zenit St. Petersburg.

Last Tuesday night, de Godenzonen looked like they were heading through to the lucrative group stages along with the Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven as they smashed Bordeaux with a 3-2 win at the Johann Cruijff ArenA thanks to a brace from Steven Schreuder.

However, last night their adventure in the top European competition came to an unexpected end with a comfortable 2-0 loss at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux.

On-loan left-back Khalid Abboubi retrieved the ball from a throw-in he took before making his way into the box and striking a sweet shot across Yaw Razak’s goal to bring the tie level, with his team leading on away goals.

The victory was confirmed in the second half when Darren Wright went down in the box to get a penalty which Filip Stevanovic then converted into a goal with ease, making the aggregate score 4-3 in favour of the Ligue 1 team, meaning that Ajax would have to score at least two more goals to stand a chance of achieving the Group Stages of the Champions League rather than the Europa League.

It wasn’t to be for Thomas de Waard’s youthful team as Conor McDonald’s Bordeaux confirmed their spot in the Champions League Group G alongside Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Seb: Absolutely, the transition under McDonald has proven successful so far, it seems logical to secure his stay further.
Excellent work. Bring on the group stages. I suspect Bordeaux will surprise a few and perform above expectations this year. Conor isn't one to accept mediocrity.

August & September Results

Ligue 1 Standings (as of 30th September 2026)

Champions League Group G Standings (as of 30th September 2026)

Conor’s Verdict

At the beginning of the new season, I think that a lot of the things that went wrong at the start of last season are occurring again. Thankfully we haven’t reached the relegation zone this time and we have kept pace but it still remains to be sorted out once again.

One thing I have been delighted about is the performances of two of our new signings in Darren Wright, who joined us for free from Manchester United as well as Moussa Diaby who is proving his €13,000,000 worth from Gladbach.

Wright has scored 14 in 14 so far this season – a record I have not seen since my Cobh Ramblers days – and Moussa Diaby has been equally as impressive from the left flank, scoring 7 goals in 14 from the wide positions.

Our new-look defence has impressed me as they have all seemed to fit in quite well, particularly with Faycal Benahmed’s adaptation to first-team, top-flight football for the first time in his career. He has been a great player on loan so far, even joining in with two goals already this term.

To confirm our spot in the Champions League Group Stages has also delighted me obviously with the financial aspect but our performance against Manchester City has proven to this squad that they can mix it up against world class teams. I look forward to see the reaction from that Man City game in the league.

Scott: Getting through to the knockouts would be a first in the UCL for Conor so I'm sure he's determined to set that record straight :P
A bumpy, inconsistent start to the domestic season for Bordeaux but with a few highlights to mention already such as the thumping of Lyon. Wright has been an instrumental part to the squad and is scoring for fun. A good start to the European campaign. A memorable victory against Man City certainly aids Conor's desire to reach the last sixteen.

Bordeaux Qualify for Champions League Round of Sixteen

After a stunning 3-0 win against the reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, Bordeaux confirmed their qualification into the next round of the Champions League.

Despite winning the Europa League in the 2024/25 season, this will be Conor McDonald’s first time experiencing qualifying into the next round of the Champions League.

The Englishman’s team went into the clash at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux off the back of exceptional league and European form with his team not being beaten in eleven games.

Brahim Díaz and Moussa Diaby got Bordeaux off to a great start in the opening ten minutes with a quickfire double in the 6th and 7th minutes.

Ricardo Moric held any Bayern opportunities before Darren Wright bagged the final goal of the game with nine minutes remaining, securing three goals and a clean sheet in a superb showing of the team’s qualities.

With one game to go in Group G, Bordeaux are sat at the top with 12 points and can now only be caught by Manchester City who trail them by three points following the result yesterday evening.

Bordeaux defeated Shakhtar Donetsk with two consecutive 1-0 victories, meaning Manchester City and Bayern Munich will now scrap out the final game to decide whether their remaining seasons will be spent in the Champions League or the Europa League.

Bayern Munich have the relatively easy task of hosting Shakhtar Donetsk in December meanwhile Manchester City will look to top the group with a big win over Conor McDonald’s Bordeaux at the Etihad Stadium.

The Champions League Round of Sixteen will be drawn on the 14th December with only seven teams confirming their spots currently.

Neither of the other French teams in the competition have yet qualified for the next round with Paris Saint-Germain still under threat from both Sporting and Basel in Group B. Arsenal and Real Madrid are in the driving seat ahead of Olympique Lyonnais in Group D going into their final fixture, Lyon will have to win against Arsenal to stand any chance of qualifying.

Scott: Very much like last season's beginning with the awful first couple of months. However, like you raised with the Lyon score, it's not exactly the same and we are very much well in this race. Darren Wright proving every €0 was worth it to bring him in ;)

You are reading "Conor McDonald: The Student".

FMS Chat

hey, just wanted to let you know that we have a fb style chat for our members. login or sign up to start chatting.