Long-time Arsenal target, Yoann Gourcuff, will be on the move this summer, if reports in France are to be believed. With his current contract up in 2015, the midfielder isn’t keen on extending it past next summer, and Lyon are keen to make something from the French international before he is allowed to leave on a free transfer.
The Back in 2010 Lyon paid €22 million to sign the playmaker from Girondins de Bordeaux. At the time it was deemed a huge, but excellent move by Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas. Now, five years later Gourcuff’s performances have been far from impressive and the move is looking like a failure from all sides, a failure that will ultimately cost OL €65 million if his deal if left to run its course.
Injuries have plagued his time in Lyon, but overall the move just hasn’t worked for the player and the club. Under Claude Puel the famous Lyon 4-3-3 system didn’t suit Gourcuff and he often got lost and under-performed.
Current boss Remi Garde was keen to have Gourcuff become the star of his team, but his form, injuries and mental attitude have stopped his progress. In his four seasons in Lyon he has failed to play more than 24 league games – and that was in his first season – this season he has only made 17 appearances, in total he has played 72 league games. That works out at a cost of £305,500 per game for Les Gones.
This season Garde has tried his best to get a spark out of Gourcuff, moving to the new 4-4-2 diamond, playing him with fellow playmaker Clement Grenier, and it times it has worked, but every time he looks like going on a run he picks up a new injury and loses that momentum.
The smart move for all involved would be to find a new club for the former AC Milan midfielder. Arsenal have always been linked with making a move, mostly due to his passing ability and Arsene Wenger’s obsession with French talent, but the stress and strains of the Premier League would likely take its toll on Gourcuff.
Football in France is as physical as its English counterpart, but the pace is slower, there would be major questions over Gourcuff’s ability to survive in England. Perhaps a move to Spain would suit the player more, his style seems more suited to La Liga.
Arsenal will likely be linked again this summer, but for Wenger, this is one Ligue 1 player he would do good to avoid.