The recent buzz surrounding Olympique Lyon’s decision to listen to offers for Hugo Lloris has been music to many EPL team’s ears. Unfortunately for Lyon fans, the sound of such talk is part of a cumulative storm of summer movements by the club.
With the soccer world put on notice that an acceptable offer would see the highly rated keeper leave Lyon, clubs like Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool took notice. When clubs like those take notice, it is only a matter of time before the last domino falls and Lloris will be tending the nets in another jersey.
Where Lloris will end up is still a matter of speculation. A keeper as talented as him, with the resume he boasts, will have no shortage of suitors. Whether it is London, Liverpool or another destination, he will be severely missed by Lyon.
Missing players is something Lyon fans are going to have to get used to this coming season. This summer has been a fire sale of sorts for the French club. Creative playmaker Ederson made a move to Lazio; 20-year-old forward Ishak Belfodil, considered by many to be a future star, transferred to Parma; Defender John Mensah terminated his contract after injuries slowed him down.
While those losses can be compensated for Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas made matters worse when he publicly called out some players. He even suggested there were some “Pharaohs” and “Dinosaurs” causing locker room discontent. In particular, Aulas called out longtime team members Cris, Kim Kallstrom and Michel Bastos.
Bastos responded by being open to a move away. It is also thought that Cris is likely to leave the club this summer. There have been plenty of rumors regarding the transfer status of defender Aly Cissokho who has been the subject of interest by Newcastle United, Napoli and others.Yoann Gourcuff has also been reported to be available as well.
With the amount of completed and potential movement, Lyon is a club on the edge of a major transformation. The former “Kings” of Ligue 1 have fallen from their perch at the top. Selling the likes of Lloris, Ederson, Cissokho and others could lead the club down many different paths.
If the club sells their key components and does not procure adequate replacements then they will fall into the lower ranks of French soccer. If they are able to replace the departed with a solid core of players to build upon, then they will maintain a competitive status.
Whether Aulas plans on a total restructure of his squad in an effort to keep up with the likes of PSG is anyone's guess. Lyon was limited in the last few transfer windows by lack of funds. The clearout may be an effort to get more money to rebuild the core of the team. The core would be much easier to build though with Hugo Lloris leading the way. Unfortunately for Lyon fans, it appears he will be an integral part of another clubs core.