Ligue 1

Lyon: A transfer fire sale amid a club in financial trouble

Rudi Garcia oversaw huge improvements after taking over last season but how is he faring in his first full campaign?

12:00pm on Sunday 15th November 2020
David Lynch

Rudi Garcia took charge of a club in crisis when succeeded Sylvinho as Lyon boss last October.

Sitting 14th in Ligue 1, they hadn't won since starting the season by beating Monaco and Angers, with four defeats and three draws following those results.

But a Garcia-inspired recovery saw them finish in seventh place (just a point off fifth) by the time the French top-flight was suspended due to Covid-19.

More impressively, they also went on a run to the Champions League semi-finals, knocking out Juventus and Manchester City before being beaten by eventual winners Bayern Munich.

So, how have they fared in following that up?

Lyon: The season so far

A 4-1 win over Dijon featuring a Memphis Depay hat-trick represented the perfect start to the campaign, but early hope soon subsided with a mixed run of results.

Lyon failed to win any of their next five outings, though their only defeat came as Houssem Aouar was sent off in the first half a 2-1 loss to Montpellier.

Lyon summer moves in

InFromReported fee
Julian PollersbeckHamburgundisclosed
Lucas PaquetaMilanundisclosed

Lyon summer moves out

OutToReported fee
Bertrand TraoreAston Villa£17m
Pierre KaluluMilanundisclosed
Ciprian TatarusanuMilanundisclosed
Anthony RacioppiDijonundisclosed

The loss of the midfielder's creativity probably had a lot to do with Garcia's men scoring just twice in their next two outings.

However, since Aouar's return, they have claimed three wins and a respectable draw away at Lille to move up to fifth in the table.

With just two points separating them from second in the table and no European distractions this term, the scene is set to push for a return to the Champions League.

Lyon: Grade B

While Garcia would have liked to avoid that early-season wobble, he has done well to stabilise his team and get them back up and running in recent weeks.

The loss of Memphis Depay to Barcelona - a rumour that just won't go away - could deal a telling blow in January.

Until then, though, Lyon have every reason to believe this could be a successful campaign.

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