France’s most prominent club in recent Champions League competitions has finally reached the semi-finals. While Lyon have seemingly always been a club incapable of getting past the quarter-finals, this week saw them go one step further. In fact, it had to be a French club as they overcame League rivals Bordeaux over the two-legged affair. Potentially this could be a year for Lyon to reach the final!
Well, while you might be thinking that that comment has come from the fact that they will be facing Bayern Munich rather than Manchester United, I was in fact referring to the fact that they have a goal-keeper who is becoming one of the best around. He joined Lyon in 2008 after rejecting an offer for Milan who viewed the Frenchman as a future replacement for Dida. After being crowned Ligue 1’s goalkeeper of the year in his first season with Lyon, the 23-year old is already looking likely to secure that accolade again this season. And rightly so.
A string of clean sheets this season, most notably in the first leg Champions League tie against the Galacticos of Real Madrid, has seen his reputation rocket through the roof. Now France’s number 1, Lloris will see the World Cup as the perfect opportunity to prove himself and Lyon will find it hard to keep away the bids should he do so.
It is no secret that Edwin Van Der Saar will be 40 this year and Ben Foster is hardly looking like the ideal replacement for the Dutch giant. While United have been linked with the likes of Igor Akinfeev, Alexander Doni and Sebastian Frey, none of them really spark any optimism among the fans. Lloris however, could be a very real option.
Lloris was applauded by the media and his fellow players for his performance over two legs against the Republic of Ireland in the World Cup play-offs. Former national team goalkeeper Gregory Coupet credited his performance as “phenomenal”, while the French media branded him “Saint Lloris”, surely Fergie’s ears will have pricked up at that news.
Don’t be too sure that they will be able to get him though. Having already turned down AC Milan, Lloris is seemingly not fazed by interest from a big club. Manchester United is a completely different option and maybe a whisper in his ear from Fabien Barthez and Laurent Blanc could swerve his decision. United fans, fingers crossed!