Fatherhood and Lorient future come hand in hand for Bouanga

Denis Bouanga of Gabon Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Gabon international Denis Bouanga has revealed that the impending birth of his first child was one of the reasons behind his decision to extend his FC Lorient contract on Thursday.

The 22-year-old was loaned out to Tours last season, and had appeared destined for the exit door at Les Merlus this summer, with Saint-Etienne and Valencia just two clubs understood to be keen on his services.

However, the Le Mans-born wideman insisted that he's keen for stability, and has vowed to take a step up at Lorient, where opportunities have been few and far between.

"I decided to join Lorient for the long haul because they're the clubs that formed me," Bouanga told the club's official website. "In the past, I didn't really have the opportunity to play here regularly, [but] now I have the opportunity to.

"I want to go to the next level," he added. "I chose to stick with FCL for my sporting balance and for my family as well.

"Soon I will become a daddy, and it was important for me to find stability."

Bouanga joined Lorient in 2014, but only made five Ligue 1 appearances before being loaned out to Strasbourg - then in the third tier - during the 2015-16 campaign.

Last term, he shone for Tours - scoring 16 goals in 34 second-tier outings -- to help them beat the drop, ending the campaign as the division's third highest scorer.

"I really hope to do better than last year," he continued. "First of all, I'm going to serve the team. We have a common objective and I hope we can achieve it."

Lorient are the favourites to earn promotion from Ligue 2 this season after their relegation last term, and if the Gabon international can rediscover his form of last term, they have the quality to take the division by storm.

The wideman was one of the star performers at the Africa Cup of Nations on home soil earlier this year, where his glittering performances caught the eye on the right flank despite the Panthers' miserable first-round exit.