After he rejected deals from Chelsea and Bayern Munich, Manchester City have decided to try their chance at signing Lyon prospect Willem Geubbels according to website City Watch.
The deals have been described as ‘very big offers’ and is thought Lyon will do their best to hold onto the player who made his Ligue 1 debut this season. Club President Jean-Michel Aulas said “He is already training with the first team and we want to give him the opportunity to play in some games.”
The Lyon youth graduate impressed during his time with their reserves, scoring 5 goals in 8 games and it would be no surprise to see him get more time with ‘Les Gones’ first team.
He has also impressed with the France youth setup, netting 12 times during 21 games, most recently with the Under 18 side. These kind of figures have seen past Lyon starlets leave for large fees and definitely points too a really tough battle if his current side hope to keep him. Karim Benzema scored 15 goals in 21 games at the same point in his career, which earned him a move to Real Madrid and has and his seen him amass a trophy cabinet including three UEFA Champions League titles.
Benzema was just the beginning of the ‘Les Gones’ exports, most recently Corentin Tolisso left for Bayern Munich, with an estimated transfer fee of €41.5 million, and Alexandre Lacazette to Arsenal for €53 million. Barcelona had their pick, signing defender Samuel Umtiti, Tottenham signed Lloris and not to forget Anthony Martial and Loïc Rémy who also came through the ranks.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Geubbels head to England on the evidence above, with plenty of their academy graduates heading to ply their trade in the Premier League, but it is the latter two that could decide whether the sixteen year old decides Manchester is the best place for his career.
Martial is a Lyon success story, his performances in their reserves earned him a transfer to Monaco during their rise from Ligue 2 to challenging for the Ligue 1 title. That caught the attention of Manchester United, who paid ten times the transfer fee Monaco had just two years earlier. He has cemented a place around the first team which has seen him convert five chances in the league this season. When Rémy moved to England he had instant success, first with Queens Park Rangers and then Newcastle.
The problems began when Rémy took a shot with Chelsea. Despite holding a Premier League title for the 14/15 season, he started just 9 games while there and played less minutes than he did in his first season with Q.P.R. He ended up being forced out of the club, first on loan to Crystal Palace, and now permanently to La Liga strugglers Las Palmas.
Geubbels needs to decide whether his career will follow Martial or Rémy’s path if he moves to England and whether it’s worth the risk. Lyon have shown great faith in the youngster and with Club President Aulas verbally praising him and making his desire to keep him in Lyon clear, the best option may to be see his career flourish at a side who clearly know how to nurture their youth players on to successful careers. The blue side of Manchester may have to wait if Pep Guardiola hopes to get hold of Lyon’s next big star.