Top 5 players to have come out of Lyon ranks in recent times
Founded in 1950, Olympique Lyonnais is one football club rooted deeply in the history of the beautiful game in France. The club enjoyed unprecedented success at the start of the 21st century, winning the Ligue 1 title seven times in succession from 2002 and becoming a force to reckon with in French and, to some extent, European football.
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Since then, it has been home to some of the top footballers over the years, who gained recognition at the club and went on to establish themselves as world-class footballers in their respective careers. Which brings us to the all-important question – who are the top 5 players to have come out of Lyon over the past few years? Read on to find out.
#5 Alexandre Lacazette
The Frenchman first started playing football at Elan Sportif, a local club in Lyon, at the age of seven. Lacazette soon made the move to the Lyon academy and made a name for himself as a fine goalscorer, reminding many of a prime Sonny Anderson. He became a vital part of the youth team and put in consistent performances that made it clear that he was destined for greatness. Lacazette subsequently broke into the first team in the 2009/10 season as a 17-year-old but could make just one appearance. The following season, the Frenchman scored his first goal for the club and ended the season with a total of two goals from eleven appearances (nine domestic and two in Europe).
At the start of the 2011/12 season, he established himself as an integral part of the senior side, making 43 appearances for the club in the season and scoring ten goals. A slight dip in form followed in the next season, but the Frenchman again picked up pace in the 2013/14 season and was brilliant for his team throughout the four years that followed. He was in the Ligue 1 team of the season for three years and also won the Ligue 1 player of the year in the 2014/15 season as he scored 27 goals from 33 league games and ended up as the top-scorer of the league.
Arsenal had been lurking in the shadows for his signature for quite a few seasons, and the Gunners finally got their man ahead of the 2017/18 season. Lacazette left Lyon after making 275 appearances in total, scoring 129 goals. Since arriving in London, the Frenchman has managed 41 goals from 100 appearances and was also adjudged the Arsenal player of the year last season.