Three Lyon talents to keep an eye on against Manchester City

Chris Hatherall picks out three names who Pep Guardiola and Man City will have to worry about on Saturday
Three Lyon talents to keep an eye on against Manchester City
Lyon's Moussa Dembele. Picture: PA

Moussa Dembele 

This is a young player whose name no doubt rings a bell or two for those who study football in England and Scotland.

Striker Dembele, who is still only 24 years old, was a young superstar at Fulham way back in 2013 before moving to Celtic where he won consecutive domestic trebles.

He has continued to improve since then and having scored 18 goals so far this campaign for Lyon, one more than last season, he’s reached a level where the world is starting to take notice.

Manchester United have been linked with the Frenchman this month and it’s easy to see why. He’s a player who is quick, clinical, lively, and hard-working and could be a perfect foil for Marcus Rashford.

United will no doubt be watching this tie closely and it’s a huge one for the young striker who reportedly cost Lyon €22m in August 2018 when he arrived from Parkhead. Although he scored Champions League goals during his time Celtic, he is yet to net in the competition for this new club. This would be a perfect time to get off the mark.

Memphis Depay 

Lyon's Memphis Depay scores a penalty against Juventus. AP Photo/Antonio Calanni
Lyon's Memphis Depay scores a penalty against Juventus. AP Photo/Antonio Calanni

From one player who Manchester United want to sign to another they may well be wishing they never sold.

Depay famously flopped at Old Trafford when he moved there in 2015 from PSV Eindhoven, but he has risen from the ashes since then to prove he was the real deal after all.

United let him go at a loss in 2017 but Depay’s eye for goal seems to get better each season, and his record is impressive.

He is currently on a remarkable roll of scoring in six consecutive Champions League matches, the last one a vital penalty in a tie at Juventus which Lyon lost 2-1 but still went through on the away goals rule.

When you consider he also has 19 goals in 51 caps for the Netherlands, then you wonder why United didn’t give him more time.

City will need to beware of his pace, dribbling, and long-range shooting.

Housesem Aouar 

Lyon's Houssem Aouar. 
Lyon's Houssem Aouar. 

Arsenal fans will be watching this young midfielder closely because he has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates.

Aouar, 22, is a highly technical attacking French Under 21 midfielder who has been with Lyon since the age of 11 – and has been hugely impressive in the Champions League this season, providing some sparkling performances.

Unbelievably comfortable and smooth on the ball, it’s easy to see why fans fall in love with him – and why so many clubs have noticed.

Lyon sporting director Juninho rates him highly and knows scouts will be watching on Saturday.

"When you have great players in the squad, it is quite logical that other bigger teams with greater economic power come to seek the players. There is a risk of losing important players,” he said this week when asked if Aouar could leave.

For now, however, enjoy him in a Lyon shirt while you can.

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