December 6, 2021

‘I can still bring something to this team’ – Aouar cites Lyon ‘adventure’ as reason for Arsenal snub

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The 22-year-old has been linked with a move to the Gunnrers for much of the off-season, but is now set to stay in France for the near future

Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar has revealed that his belief that he can help the club on to greater success played a key part in him choosing to ultimately rebuff the advances of Arsenal this transfer window, describing his career so far at the Ligue 1 club as an “adventure”.

The 22-year-old has been linked with a move across the English Channel to join the Gunners for much of the off-season, but put paid to questions about his future this weekend as he reportedly reaffirmed his immediate commitment to Rudi Garcia’s side.

Mikel Arteta’s side saw multiple big-money offers knocked back by the French outfit, who remained adamant that the playmaker was not for sale following a stellar campaign that saw him named in the Champions League Team of the Season.

The Premier League outfit were not the only team thought to be in the hunt for him either, with Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas revealing last month that two other big clubs were pursuing the signature of their academy graduate, with Real Madrid thought to be one of the interested parties.

Aouar, who is widely expected to pick up his first international cap for France in the upcoming international break after being forced to withdraw from the previous squad due to Covid-19, played in his side’s 1-1 draw with Marseille on Sunday, and opened up afterwards on his choice to ultimately stay put.

“[Why did I make] my choice to stay in Lyon?” he told his post-match press conference. “I felt that I could still bring something to this team and to this club.

“That’s why I have made the choice to continue my adventure with Lyon. I hope we will get up and find our form again quickly.”

Lyon have struggled across the early stages of the new season, with just the one win and seven points from their first six games.

Aouar admitted that the run of rough form was frustrating, adding: “We are very disappointed that we did not pick up the three points. This is really what we had to do. We ha to win, especially after our recent results.

“I find it hard to explain why we were not better up front. We can make the gap but we miss the right pass or the right shot. It is something that must be improved as quickly as possible. It is not normal for us.”