French side Lille have made their second summer signing as they prepare for the upcoming Champions League qualifiers. Les Dogues have signed Manchester City’s 18-year-old Portuguese midfielder Marcos “Rony” Lopes on a one year loan deal.
The deal comes as Lille also rewards French playmaker Marvin Martin a new revised two year contract, but Lopes will be his main rival for minutes on the pitch.
Speaking to the official Lille website, Lopes admitted that although he is very versatile in the attacking positions, the attacking pivot is his favourite.
“I play as a midfielder. I can play as a number 10, but also as a winger. I’m versatile, but I have a slight preference for the axial position because it gives me more freedom on the pitch. I see more of the ball.
The goal is for me to show my creative side and help the team score.”
From his mere glimpses of life at Manchester City, he looks like a player that could make a difference in Ligue 1 this season.
Lopes excelled in the UEFA Youth League, scoring two goals against Viktoria Plzen and a hat-trick against Bayern Munich at home.
He also managed to gain some playing time in the League Cup against West Ham United, assisting goals for Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo in City’s 3-0 win.
The closest he got to playing in the Premier League was a place on the bench in the league defeat to Chelsea in February.
Moving to Lille may come as a surprise to some, but the players’ agent is former Middleborough striker Mikkel Beck, who also played for Lille in the nineties. He is also the agent of former Lille full-back Lucas Digne.
Lille have a record of bringing through young players, you only have to look at Eden Hazard at Chelsea and the rumoured move of Divock Origi to Liverpool to show what the staff at Lille are capable of.
Marcos Lopes will have the chance to develop and blossom at Lille and it is then up to the Manchester City player, to show the class that took him to City.