Lille OSC Signs Former Chelsea Frontman Salomon Kalou on Four Year Deal

Christopher AlmerasCorrespondent IIJuly 7, 2012

Salomon Kalou is bringing his talents to the coast of France
Salomon Kalou is bringing his talents to the coast of FranceLaurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Lille OSC are looking to open their new stadium with a bang this year.

Salomon Kalou has become the second major signing of the summer for the French outfit after agreeing to a four year deal. The move comes on a free transfer after Kalou's release from Chelsea.

The 26-year-old forward should will bring more firepower to Lille's offensive attack. His versatility will allow Lille to put him out on the left wing, or up top in their formation. With Lille's more open style of play, Kalou should be able to use his ability to make runs to open space or at defenders to great effect.

Kalou should be able to transition into a similar role to the one that Arsenal's Gervinho played for the French squad two seasons ago. Lille is counting on Kalou to help raise the game of their current strike force that includes Tulio de Melo and the enigmatic Dimitri Payet.

Kalou's experience in European competitions is another bonus for Lille. LOSC looked out of sorts in many of their Champions League games last season. Kalou's experience in those types of games added with the experience gained by the squad last year should see them perform at a higher level in Europe this time around.

Salomon is an excellent buy for Lille. He is a player in his prime years with a lot of skill, and a history of success. With him in the stable, Lille may find it easier to convince some other larger name targets that the French outfit is building a team to consistently challenge for trophies.

Kalou was on the radar for multiple teams this summer, before Lille were able to reel him in. Adding Kalou to Marvin Martin should take much of the sting out of losing Eden Hazard to Chelsea. Not having to pay a transfer fee to gain Kalou's services is another key, as it allows for further expenditures in the transfer market.

With their offensive needs having been tended to, Lille's focus may be turning to the defensive front, where standout left back Debuchy has been linked with a move to Newcastle United. With more intelligent buys like Kalou, Lille will open the Grand Stade Lille Metropole in style, and potentially keep pressure on Paris Saint-Germain for the Ligue 1 title.