OFFICIAL: Real Madrid forward signs for Ligue 1 giants
What’s the story?
Promising 23-year-old forward Mariano Diaz has completed his move from Real Madrid to Lyon. The talented youngster struggled to break into the star-studded Real Madrid first team and has now made a move to the French giants in order to get more first-team football. The transfer is reportedly worth around €8 million and represent a coup of sorts for Lyon as a number of clubs including Liverpool were reportedly interested in the Spanish-born Dominican’s signature.
The striker did not hesitate to share his ambitious targets after signing a five-year deal.:
"I'm at a big club and we have an important role to play in Ligue 1, which is a good championship," Mariano told reporters.
"Lyon want to win the title, surpass Paris Saint-Germain and go further in the European Cup. I am sure that we will return to the highest level. I am very happy to be here at OL - I knew the team before coming. It is one of the best in the country and even in Europe. That was one of the reasons I came. It is wonderful to be part of this great club.”
Mariano Diaz’s signature has made Arsenal fans happy as many reports are suggesting that the Spaniard was signed as a replacement for Alexandre Lacazette.
In case you didn’t know...
Mariano Diaz signed a five-year contract with the French giants, but he does lack the experience of playing top level football. He made his senior Real Madrid debut against Celta Vigo last August and made eight LaLiga substitute appearances in the club's title-winning campaign, scoring once against Deportivo La Coruna in December.
Mariano scored a further four goals across two legs of Madrid's Copa del Rey last-32 tie against Cultural Leonesa – his only two starts of the season - and leaves in search of greater first-team opportunities. The Spaniard is Lyon’s fourth signing of this transfer window and he will be joining Fernando Marcal, Bertrand Traore and Ferland Mendy ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.
The heart of the matter
Mariano Diaz is among a host of young Real Madrid stars leaving Los Blancos in search of regular playing time. The 23-year-old striker joins the likes of Enzo Zidane and Alvaro Jimenez in departing Santiago Bernabeu. However, Zidane will not be too worried about the mini-exodus as he still has plenty of squad depth to call upon.
What makes this transfer more interesting is the fact that Lyon have signed a striker with Alexander Lacazette heavily linked to a move to the Premier League and more specifically Arsenal. Reliable sources in France have reported that the Frenchman is close to joining Arsenal and both Mariano and Bertrand Traore are seen as long-term replacements for Lacazette by Lyon President Aulas.
Lyon are making some intelligent signings this transfer window and Mariano now joins former Chelsea star Bertrand Traore to bolster the Ligue 1 side’s attack. Unfortunately for Lyn’s fans though, this transfer all but finalises Lacazette’s move to Arsenal and a move to the Premier League giants should be announced sooner rather than later.