LEAGUE 1 – Lacazette-Tolisso: the sirens of Lyon nostalgia

Back to the future in the Rhone. Since the last touches of the ball together in the shirt of Lyon, it has been five years, in a different way, for the two new recruits of the OL, Alexandre Lacazette and Corentin Tolisso. Five years at Arsenal for the tricolor striker and five years at Bayern Munich for the world champion midfielder.

A period that did not necessarily confirm the enormous potential we could give to the first, and frustrating for the second, often hampered by injuries in the last four seasons. Firstly, at Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette arrived with impressive stats after his last season at Olympique Lyonnais (28 goals and 3 assists in 30 games in 2016-2017). But the confirmation didn’t really happen.

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Contrasted results abroad

In his first season in the Premier League, the former Gone scored only half the goals he had managed in Ligue 1 the previous season in two more games played. But Lacazette’s offensive output has really dipped this year. With 30 games still on the clock, the French international has only found the back of the net four times, despite 7 assists.

Alongside his friend Corentin Tolisso, the results are not necessarily reassuring either. A world champion in 2018, the midfielder struggled to establish himself in midfield in Munich (he’s not the only one) and was notably hampered by numerous injuries. His last one, signed in April, ironically, even allowed him to return to OL because, without playing at the end of the season, Tolisso could not attract offers from the big European clubs.

With fewer than 50 games in his legs over the last four seasons, Tolisso, who has played just 15 games this year, now at least has a chance to breathe a little. OL’s non-qualification in the Champions League will allow them to play only one game per week and thus avoid injuries, even if one of their calves has already prevented them from playing the pre-season games.

Back to basics

So a return to the fold could be beneficial for Lyon’s two former glories. By signing until 2027, Corentin Tolisso has ensured security at a club he knows from the field to the stands, while Alexandre Lacazette has returned free of any contract to relaunch, until 2025, in a championship that has seen him shine in the past

Alex’s return certainly played a role

Moreover, the two men, lifelong friends, would not necessarily meet if one had not advocated for the other. “‘Alex’ has written to me as much in a month as in the last five years,” Tolisso had fun at a press conference. Of course, Alex’s return played a big part. He is a friend to me. The fact that we had also done great things with OL previously was an added advantage in my choice.”

Together, the two Gones spent 4 seasons in the shirt of Lyon for a titleless but honorable record: twice runners-up of France (2015, 2016), finalists in the League Cup (2014), twice finalists in the champions of the Trophy (2015, 2016). 2016) and Europa League semi-finalists (2017).

Find the OL DNA

Its return revives the nostalgia of the prosperous years even if they are not over. While Olympique Lyonnais did not qualify for the European Cups this season, Jean-Michel Aulas had a very specific idea when recalling these two players: “We must return to the values ​​of the club, return to the identity of OL, take what it takes to rebuild a conquering state of mind. We want the DNA of OL to be the watchword of the future.”

This identity will therefore form part of a game plan proposed by Peter Bosz, a 4-2-3-1 in which Corentin Tolisso should be next to Maxence Caqueret, while the tip of the attack it will be occupied by Alexandre Lacazette. Tolisso’s advantage is that he is a player of such versatility that, if his physique allows him some freedom, he could be substituted in any position in midfield. An important asset for a squad now orphaned by Tanguy Ndombélé and Bruno Guimaraes.

As for Alexandre Lacazette, already a goalscorer in the pre-season games, the nostalgia of Lyon could give him wings in a championship at a lower level than the Premier League, where the contacts are noticeably harder. From here on to repeat the actions of before, nothing less certain, but the transfer market is not over and, if OL decides to strengthen its rear guard as well, the relief of the midfield and the point of attack could only to benefit

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