It’s never pleasant to see the vultures starting to circle whenever a club faces serious financial issues, but the reality is that a few player sales can help to keep a struggling team afloat.
It’s been confirmed that French side Lille are in big trouble due to their financial situation which has been exacerbated by the disastrous TV deal that’s collapsed in France:
Lille are understood to be between €130m & €200m in debt & ex-Rennes President Olivier Létang is expected to take over from Gérard Lopez in the coming days. This is a major development in the world of French football.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) December 15, 2020
They’re a decent side with some quality players who have been linked with bigger moves, so here’s a look at three who have either been linked with some big Premier League sides:
Renato Sanches – midfielder – Liverpool
Sanches first burst onto the scene in EURO 2016 when he gave Portugal some relentless energy and attacking instincts from the midfield, but the subsequent move to Bayern Munich didn’t work out as he failed to crack the first team.
He will be remembered by Premier League fans for an awful loan spell at Swansea but he shouldn’t be judged on that as he’s finally started to blossom and establish himself in France.
Liverpool may need someone to replace Wijnaldum if he leaves in the summer and Sanches could be perfect – He’ll press like a monster so Klopp will immediately appreciate that, while he also has the pace and movement to bring a new threat to the Liverpool midfield.
The link has already been made by Le10 Sport and it’s suggested the deal could even be agreed in January, but it might be best to leave Sanches in France for the rest of the season so he can keep playing and ensure his place in the Portugal squad for EURO 2021.
Yusuf Yazici – midfielder – Arsenal
Arsenal need a creative midfielder and they don’t want to give Mesut Ozil another chance, so why not hope for a case of third time lucky and return to the club that served up the relative disappointments of Nicolas Pepe and Gervinho?
The Turkish international has impressed this season with ten goals and three assists from midfield, but unlike Pepe and Gervinho he thrives through the centre of the pitch and could give Mikel Arteta the difference maker he needs in the centre of the park.
He was linked with a move to The Emirates by HITC recently and he does look like the perfect fit, while the relationship between the two clubs should also help in any negotiations.
Boubakary Soumare – defensive midfielder – Man United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer isn’t exactly short of options at the base of his midfield, he just has a major problem where ever single one has a flaw that the team needs to account for.
Nemanja Matic is positionally sound and his composure on the ball is admirable, but he’s reached a point where he needs to three-point turn to change direction so he can’t be the long term solution.
Fred is totally different in the sense that he’s full of running and energy but he lacks discipline, while Scott McTominay could become the answer in time but there are still parts of his game which look raw and unpredictable.
Soumare is still only 21 so he’s not the most experienced, but he looks like he could combine all of the good things about those three and actually provide a solid base to shield the back four.
He’s quick and strong, his defensive instincts are sound, he’s only been booked twice in seventeen games this term so it shows he has a temperament that can be trusted and he’s also capable of making progressive passes and carrying the ball forward when needed.
He fits the profile of signing that Solskjaer likes and you fancy that even Ed Woodward might be able to do a deal with a team who are desperate for cash, while The Metro reported that there was interest from United in the summer.
Obviously from Lille’s point of view they can’t just sell everyone because becoming uncompetitive and getting relegated will only compound matters, but their squad is strong so they could survive selling a few key players if the finances dictate that they have to.