The €20M Rated International That Got Away

It’s been reported that Arsenal tried to sign Lyon midfielder Yoann Gourcuffon loan on deadline day, but the French club rejected the Gunners approach.

Arsene Wenger managed to sign Yossi Benayoun on loan, as well as Mikel Arteta from Everton, but only after the Frenchman was told that the 25-year-old would not be leaving the Stade de Garlands this summer.

Gourcuff, who made 30 appearances for Lyon last season, still has four years left to run on his existing contract with Lyon having joined from Bordeaux last summer.

The France international admitted last February that he was unsettled and frustrated at the Ligue 1 outfit, claiming to have problems working under boss Claude Puel – probably, if not definitely, the reason why Wenger attempted to snap him up on loan.

Despite his apparent problems, the French club maintain high hopes for the midfield play-maker and thus declined Arsenal’s late interest.

Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas recently told RMC:

‘I had a call on the penultimate day of the transfer window [from] Gilles Grimandi for a loan deal.’

‘We believe in the recovery of Yoann. He has just resumed training.’

‘We made the choice [to keep] Gourcuff, just like last year.’

‘It was difficult [for him] last year. Hopefully he is going to prove his capabilities this year.’

To be honest, as much as I am a fan of Gourcuff, I am glad that Lyon rejected Arsenal’s loan bid for him.

I believe the Frenchman needs to work on his fitness and performance levels, having dipped in form and suffered injuries last season. Hopefully he can correct these ‘problems’, and who knows, perhaps we may see Wenger try his luck again in January.

Tony Merakli is the Editor of

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