Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar has given an explanation for staying at the club this summer following transfer links with Arsenal.
The France international looks one of the finest young midfield players in the game at the moment, and could have been a superb addition to Mikel Arteta’s squad this season.
In the end, a deal never materialised, with The Athletic reporting on how it went wrong from Arsenal’s end, though Aouar insists he is simply happy to stay at Lyon after talks with the club’s sporting director Juninho.
“This is my town, my club. So it is with immense pride that I play for this club and above all I have a lot of motivation to have a great season with my team,” Aouar told TF1, as translated by Get French Football News.
Aouar was then asked if it was a straight choice between joining Arsenal or staying at Lyon, to which he responded: “No, not necessarily. But it is true that at the end it was basically that. So, ultimately I had to make a decision and I am happy to stay here.
“I spoke an enormous amount with Juni (Juninho), everyday he shows his faith in me. It is a real pleasure for me to work with him and stay here for at least another season with Juni is a major source of pride.”
Aouar may well feel justified in staying at Lyon, who were one of the surprise performers in last season’s Champions League as they knocked out Manchester City to make it as far as the semi-finals.
By keeping a star name like Aouar, Rudi Garcia’s side surely have every chance of improving again in 2020/21, though we imagine they will continue to face interest from top clubs in Aouar and some of their other stars.