“Go and stay where people value you. It is this enigmatic part of Lucas Paquetá’s Instagram message, to formalize his departure from OL, that caught the attention of Lyon supporters on Monday night. If it was almost surprising to see a (now) undisputed starter for one of the top five teams in the world staying in the Rhône for almost two years, seeing him sign for West Ham (7th in the last Premier League) is just as surprising. And this especially three months before a World Cup in Qatar, which will further “promote” the talented 25-year-old attacking midfielder.
If his signing with a bonus makes him practically the second biggest sale in the history of OL behind Tanguy Ndombele (61,630 million euros), this amounts to “only” 42.95 M€ without them, which is almost the compensation of his compatriot and friend Bruno Guimaraes (€42.1M + €8M bonus), when he left for Newcastle last January.
Aulas assures that he “absolutely wanted to leave”, yes…
As for Guimaraes eight months earlier, Jean-Michel Aulas also assured, on Sunday night on Canal +, that the player “absolutely wanted to leave.” Except that he has never said it in the press, contrary to his attachment to the club he has hammered since his arrival in Ligue 1. If in general he is less prominent since the chained exits of the sports director Juninho and therefore of Bruno G., Lucas Paquetá, the two people closest to him in Lyon, remains one of those who has sparked the most in recent months.
As a symbol, OL’s last performance, without its Brazilian playmaker, was especially bland on Sunday in Reims (1-1). Among the 80 games (for 21 goals) that Lucas Paquetá played with Rudi García and then with Peter Bosz, his start to the 2021-2022 season will inevitably remain (ah, that clinical conclusion of a brilliant collective move against Clermont), two outstanding goals against PSG or Porto, as well as brilliant shots that have completely conquered both corners, such as your little bridge about the ex niçois Evann Guessand, or his surreal entry into the game against AS Monaco.
A juicy added value for the Guimaraes-Paquetá duo
In October 2021, indeed, he had chained two high-level games in less than 48 hours, with 9,000 kilometers (and 10 hours) of travel, plus six hours of time difference, to shine with the Seleçao as with Lyon. Parc OL has rarely been as euphoric as at this seemingly innocuous Ligue 1 match, which turned into a singing contest in honor of Lucas Paquetá, whose dribbling and ball protection had few equals in France for two years.
But quickly liquidating Juninho’s legacy, with a juicy new capital gain in the form of Bruno Guimaraes, two years after a €20m purchase from AC Milan, almost seems like a strategy for Lyon’s 2022 transfer window. , the leaders of the OL (Aulas-Ponsot-Cheyrou) are the conspicuous absences from Lucas Paquetá’s farewell message (but rich in thanks).
As for Memphis a year earlier, there are no recruits to replace him.
Like a year ago, when Lyon felt that they did not need to find a real replacement for Memphis Depay to return to the Champions League, the club indicated, on Monday night in its press release, that they could count in the middle “with a healthy emulation between Jeff Reine-Adélaïde, Romain Faivre and Rayan Cherki”.
Do you see in this list the “half warrior, half Michelangelo” profile, as Mauricio Barbieri described his former Flamengo prodigy? In all cases, if Bruno Cheyrou is allowed to chambrer the market of l’OM, the 1st July after he left Jorge Sampaoli, celui-ci se révèle (à nouveau) plus ambitieux que celui de l’OL, deux mois later. Because despite the hopes raised by the arrival of John Textor, the balance sheet will continue to be largely profitable this summer (at least +37 M€).
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