French starlet who snubbed Arsenal finds form to play hero in Europa League

Clement Grenier has been in poor form recently, but scored the winner in a Europa League tie against Rijeka this evening.

Grenier was heavily linked with the Gunners after he openly admitted he would be tempted by a North London switch - however he signed a new deal with Lyon in July to put an end to that transfer talk.

With the player’s contract expiring next summer, Arsenal remained keen on a potential deal for the French youngster - dubbed Samir Nasri like in playing style.

But he went on to sign a new deal with the club, leaving Arsenal reeling at missing out on this top talent. But he went on to reveal later in the summer that he might still have his eyes set on a move to Arsenal in the future.

‘’I have a contract which now runs until 2016. We'll see what happens here in a year. Anyway, I told the President that whatever happens, I will not leave my club for free.’’

It appeared therefore that a major reason behind Grenier signing an extension was to simply ensure that his club received a transfer fee when he finally decided to move on.

Then again, judging by his own self-criticism earlier today, Arsenal might have gone off the player.

He was speaking ahead of the Europa League tie with Croatian outfit Rijeka, and stated:

"Collectively this is a difficult period, but also on a personal level. This is the first time in my young career I know a complicated way. This is part of my progression. You have to be strong and continue to work. Mentally, you have to ignore it, to be a little less decisive while remaining useful to the team. I hope to quickly find the net and be decisive for the new group."

Well, he certainly knows how to self-motivate.

As he did find the net quickly, less than 24 hours later…

Grenier saved Lyon’s blushes in the Europa League tie at home to Croatian minnows Rijeka, arriving at the far post to score a brave header and claim a vital three points in the French outfits campaign.

The club and player have been struggling this season, and they will both hope that this result is the start of rejuvenation.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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