Friday, August 12, 2022

Update On Manchester City’s Pursuit Of This Ligue 1 Midfielder: Guardiola Needs To Get This Done

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, L’Equipe (subscription required) has provided an update on Manchester City’s pursuit of Houssem Aouar this summer. The same source has mentioned that Olympique Lyonnais are willing to put the French midfielder up for sale amid interest from Man City among other clubs ahead of the summer transfer window. It is believed that the Ligue 1 outfit are prepared to entertain offers around €50m for their prized asset in this off-season (via L’Equipe).

Aouar’s Impressive Form In The French Top-Flight This Season

The 21-year-old has established himself as one of the top performers at the Groupama Stadium after producing a series of eye-catching displays at the centre of Rudi Garcia’s midfield. He has featured in 37 matches for the French giants this term, netting nine goals and providing seven assists in all competitions which showcases just how much he has matured over the past nine months.

The Lyon-born playmaker has averaged 1.1 tackles, 0.5 interceptions, 1.8 shots, 1.0 key passes and 2.6 dribbles per game in the French first division this season (stats via whoscored). Aouar’s numbers prove that he can make a positive impact at both ends of the field.

The promising starlet has represented France at various youth levels but is still waiting to make his first appearance for Didier Deschamps’ senior team. However, there is no denying that Aouar has the potential to become a world-class midfielder so we can expect him to play a crucial role for Les Bleus in the years to come.

Update on Manchester City's pursuit of Houssem Aouar who is in action in the photo
Lyon’s French midfielder Houssem Aouar (C) is challenged by Juventus’ Brazilian defender Alex Sandro (L) and de Juventus’ Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first-leg football match between Lyon and Juventus at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium in Decines-Charpieu, central-eastern France, on February 26, 2020. (Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will The France Under-21 International Add To Pep Guardiola’s Side?

Aouar hardly gives away the ball as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 85.7% in the Ligue 1 this season (stats via whoscored). He can put his pace and agility to good use when dribbling with the ball from midfield and is highly versatile as he can operate in multiple positions at the centre of the park. The French whizkid has primarily been deployed as a box to box midfielder. However, he can also give a good account of himself as a left-sided winger or play in the number ten position as an attacking midfielder if needed.

Aouar has the speed and the dribbling ability to cause all sorts of problems for the opposition and possesses the vision to pick out a decisive pass in the attacking third of the field which explains how he has got seven assists to his name for Lyon in this campaign.

Why The Citizens Need To Find A Way To Land Aouar This Summer

Recruiting a playmaker of Aouar’s skill set could prove to be a shrewd move for Man City this summer. He will not only add more goals and creativity to Guardiola’s midfield but also increase competition for places within the Citizens squad. With David Silva set to leave the Mancunian club at the end of this campaign, Aouar could serve as an ideal replacement for the ageing Spaniard as he has the ceiling to break into the world-class bracket in the coming seasons.

If the reports are accurate about the Lyon star’s availability this summer, then Guardiola would be wise to get a deal done to bring the Frenchman to the Etihad Stadium this summer. He will help the Citizens bridge the gap to Liverpool at the top of English football and could also aid them to compete for major silverware in the upcoming campaign.

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