The two African stars have combined to score 12 league goals for Les Merlus during a difficult campaign
Nigerian striker Terem Moffi has hailed his partnership with Malian forward Ibrahima Kone as both make attempts to help Lorient avoid the drop to Ligue 2.
In the first half of this campaign, Moffi struggled to replicate the form that brought him an astonishing 14 league goals last year. The 22-year-old managed just two goals before December, as Lorient battled with life in the lower reaches of the table.
With the attack struggling to get the goals following the departure of Yoane Wissa to Brentford, Lorient moved to bring in Ibrahima Kone from Sarpsborg 08 for €4 million.
The Malian, who got three goals at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, was expected to offer Moffi competition in the striking role.
Rather, the Super Eagles striker reveals the arrival of the former Haugesund ace has pushed him to work harder to rediscover his best form.
“It’s part of the game and requires improvement,” Moffi told Le Telegramme about the arrival of Kone in January.
“Ibrahima is a very good player, I am a good player, so if I want to have my place, I have to work hard every day, every week, to be on top. It pushes me to be even better.”
Rather than bench one for the other, Lorient manager Christophe Pélissier tweaked his formation to accommodate Kone and Moffi, with the Malian playing more centrally while the Nigerian was positioned to the wings.
It has yielded good results with Moffi scoring four goals and adding an assist since February. Kone has five goals in ten appearances.
Moffi opines that playing alongside Kone has presented him with more chances in front of goal.
“Yes, but I don’t see it as a negative thing,” Moffi said about being shifted to the wings.
“Of course, if you ask me what I prefer, I’ll tell you that it’s playing as a number nine.
“But evolving as a winger allows me to be forgotten, to be less noticed by defenders and to take advantage of the spaces created by Ibrahima.”
After scoring 21 goals across two seasons in the French elite division, Moffi may be ready to make a step up to his preferred English Premier League.
And when asked to comment about his future, the former Kortrijk star decided to focus on helping Lorient stay in the Ligue 1.
Moffi, however, refuses to rule out a move away from the Stade du Moustoir in the summer, insisting a decision will be made after meeting with club president, Loic Fery.
“For now, I want to finish the current one, collectively and individually, and ensure the maintenance of the team in Ligue 1,” Moffi added.
“I haven’t spoken with the president, I don’t know what can happen but I I’m very calm about it all. If I have to leave, I will be happy, and if I have to stay, I will be too. We’ll see.”
Moffi’s contract with Lorient expires on Jun 30, 2024.