Nabil Fekir and Alex Lacazette dominated the headlines and the gossip columns in Lyon’s run to the semi-finals of last season’s Europa League, but it would be unfair to overlook the impact made by centre-half Mouctar Diakhaby.
The France U21 star hadn't made a single appearance for the Ligue 1 giants before last season, but shone both at home and in Europe, particularly in his club's thrilling round-of-16 clash with Roma.
And these performances go a long way to explaining why four Premier League clubs are, according to The Mail, keen to sign Diakhaby this summer. Chelsea, Manchester City, Watford and Everton are all said to be interested.
Links with Everton are particularly interesting considering that The Toffees have been crying out for new centre-halves with Michael Keane struggling, Ramiro Funes Mori injured and Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams both on the wrong side of 30.
And beating bonafide Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester City to Diakhaby would give Everton one of Europe’s most complete and exciting defensive talents.
Diakhaby is not just a powerful, athletic centre-half with a fearsome aerial presence at both ends of the pitch, he is also a modern defender who as good with the ball as he is without it.
And you might have guessed that distribution and composure in possession would be some of his strengths, given that Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is an admirer. But Everton should go all out to win the race for Diakhaby - because he is only going to get better.
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