Lille happy to fly under the radar

Lille midfielder Ludovic Obraniak believes Paris Saint-Germain’s attention-grabbing role in the transfer market could work in his side’s favour.Since being bought out by the Qatar Investment Authority, PSG have made a series of big money transfers, including Jeremy Menez, Kevin Gameiro and Mohamed Sissoko, with a 40-million-euro move for Javier Pastore expected this week.

The massive influx of money and players in the French capital means expectations are high that Antoine Kombouare’s side can win their first Ligue 1 title since 1994.

But Poland international Obraniak said defending league champions Lille were more than happy to let PSG hog the spotlight, preferring to plot their route to consecutive titles more quietly.

“It’s great for us,” Obraniak said. “We’ve always liked to work in the shadows; we like working calmly.”

“All the pressure is now on PSG who, along with Marseille, will be heavily armed this season.”

“PSG already had a solid squad, and with the new names they’ve brought in, they’ll be very hard to beat. But still, they have to put a style of play into place, while we just need to give our all.”

Lille have hardly been stagnant in the transfer market, replacing the losses of Adil Rami, Gervinho and Yohan Cabaye with the likes of Marko Basa (Lokomotiv Moscow), Dimitri Payet (Saint-Etienne) and Benoit Pedretti (Auxerre).

Crucially, Belgian winger Eden Hazard has spurned the advances of several of Europe’s glamour clubs, and Obraniak was confident the side could recapture their title-winning form of last season.

“We still have the same core as last season,” he said. “We still joke around, we don’t put too much pressure on ourselves.”

“We know it will be tough to perform as well as we did last season, but still we played some excellent football in the Trophee des Champions.”

“It’s exciting to get going again with some new players on board. They provide a breath of fresh air even though we would have loved to hang onto the ones who left.”

“It gets you asking the tough questions again; there is a competitive air in the squad. The new guys want to prove themselves and that forces everyone to lift their game.”

Article title: Lille happy to fly under the radar

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