What signings do Lyon need to make in January?

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner Updated: 17 May 2021 22:18 BST 4 min read
What signings do Lyon need to make in January?

Lyon and their period of upheaval goes on, with Rudi Garcia’s side still seeking consistency on the field.

The coronavirus crisis combined with the club’s debt generated by building a new stadium in the relatively recent past means that financially they find themselves on unstable ground.

Throw into that mix the uncertainty over receiving television revenue, and the mix is a toxic one of the Champions League semi-finalists.

How can they cope in a January window when they are set to have to fight to keep certain stars?

Lyon Defence

Lyon have no issues in goal, where Portugal international keeper Anthony Lopes continues to give them a high standard of service. His back-up, Julian Pollersbeck, was only signed in the summer from Hertha and has not had a chance to impress as yet.

With Marcelo have softened critics with strong performances in the Champions League in the summer, there are no significant issues in the heart of the defence. With only three natural full-backs, additional cover on the left would be ideal but is unlikely to arrive as the club tightens its belt.

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  • Midfield

    Houssem Aouar is likely to be the narrative of the next couple of transfer windows for Lyon. The France midfielder continues to be linked with a big move away, although Lyon’s asking price has thus far put off suitors. It may well be they have to lower it.

    OL have plenty of options in the heart of the park and can afford to offload one or two players in this sector. Thiago Mendes looks the most readily expendable having failed to hit the heights since a move from Lille in 2019.

    Attack

    What signings do Lyon need to make in January?

    What signings do Lyon need to make in January?

    Again, the chatter surrounding Lyon is more about who will leave than who will arrive. Of course, in this case it is Memphis Depay, who is both the club’s biggest name in terms of stature and quality. He would be a sore loss, but it would be a blow to see him depart for nothing in the summer, as will surely otherwise be the case.

    President Jean-Michel Aulas, though, has been bullish over the Netherlands international and will fight to keep him. Rather than making another transfer, more faith may be put in youngster Rayan Cherki if Depay departs.

    Moussa Dembele has also been linked with a January move. After a slow start to the season, his value has dropped sharply. If he were to leave, OL would surely look for an alternative option in attack.

    Conclusion

    Lyon’s January transfer window is set to be more about who goes than who stays. They will fight to keep Aouar and Depay, but it may not be possible. If either departs, internal solutions look feasible.

    Only if they lose Dembele in attack will they be coerced into making a deal, while they may also seek to bolster their defence if they can raise a suitable sum.

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