European Giants Looking for French Connection this Summer
Ligue 1 has long been a prime hunting ground for the big European clubs to secure talented, young footballers. French clubs have been producing exceptional young players for a long time, and have pragmatically accepted their role as the feeder league to the European giants.
Given the increasing disparity in revenue between the various leagues, this trend is only going to increase. There are many success stories of players bought from Ligue 1 who have gone on to greater success such as Ousmane Dembélé, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, James Rodríguez, Raphaël Varane…etc.
There are a few players that could realistically make the move to bigger leagues this summer. In this list is a compilation of 6 players who could be the latest big money exports from France.
1. Alexandre Lacazette- Lyon
A Lyon youth academy product, Lacazette plays in the central striker role, however is adept at playing out wide if the tactics require. The right footer has made 10 international appearances, scoring with 1 goal.
Despite the increasing speculation and reports, Lacazette has not yet signed for Atlético Madrid and so is still available for the highest bidder.
Lacazette has been the subject of transfer rumours for the past several summers and so it can seem strange that he is still currently playing for Lyon. This year however, it seems that the speculation will turn into something real. The striker has been in great form for the past few seasons and now would be an ideal time to make the step up. Lacazette turns 26 this May and has scored 31 goals in all competitions so far this year which makes it the 4th consecutive season that he has scored in excess of 20 goals. The extended form, in addition to his mature age mean clubs will be more confident to go in with an offer the size of which would be necessary to snare him.
It will take a large bid in order to land Lacazette, Lyon are secure in their finances and the player has not been making noises about wanting a change of scenery plus he is under contract until 2019. The club reportedly turned down a €70m (£59m) offer for the player in January, so it will take a sizeable bid in order to pry him away. Atlético Madrid have had a long interest in Lacazette and, given the reported interest in Griezmann, have been speculated to have had a €40m (£34m) offer rejected.
Arsenal are also rumoured to be interested in the Lyon frontman, given Giroud has not provided the number of goals needed to effectively challenge for the Premier League. Lacazette could fill that hole and allow Sanchez to move back to his favoured left hand side position. This seems the likliest scenario if a move to Madrid fails to materialise.