Lille OSC Looking to Valencia for Hazard Replacement

Christopher AlmerasCorrespondent IIJune 18, 2012

Is Tino the answer to Lille's midfield gaps?
Is Tino the answer to Lille's midfield gaps?Michael Regan/Getty Images

Lille is looking to Valencia as the next part of restocking their midfield. After losing Eden Hazard to Chelsea, and with Joe Cole returning to Liverpool, Lille is trying to plug in the holes. Reports are stating that Valencia has confirmed a bid from Lille for Argentine midfielder Alberto Costa.

Costa was a key component in Valencia’s successful La Liga campaign. The attacking midfielder is familiar with Ligue 1 having spent two seasons with Montpellier. Costa is known for his technical ability, and his skills match up well with Lille’s attacking scheme.

Hazard was a key component to Lille’s success over the last few seasons. The loss of a talent like that obviously leaves a large hole to fill. Coupled with Joe Cole returning to England from his loan spell, and Lille’s talent thins even more. Lille may lose even more talent if left back Mathieu Debuchy heads for England or Italy. The price of success in Ligue 1 typically costs the players who got you there.

If signed, Costa would join French international Marvin Martin in Lille’s new look midfield. Martin has reportedly signed from Sochaux. With two creative players like Costa and Martin, the Lille forwards should find plenty of scoring opportunities this coming season.

With the money gained from the Hazard transfer, Lille appears to be improving the overall strength of the squad rather than buying a single high priced talent. Lille fans are hoping these types of signings will keep them competing for Ligue 1 silverware for the foreseeable future.