There wasn’t anything too impressive about Clement Grenier on his debut for the French national team in their 3-0 loss to Brazil, but it didn’t shake off the Arsenal interest in him, which has been going on for quite some time. And yet, it seems the talented and versatile Lyon midfielder will be remaining in Ligue 1 for the final season of his contract after all.
The situation at Lyon is interesting financially, as missing out on Champions League football and their fading star after years of dominating the local scene with 7 consecutive league titles has caused some economic difficulties in the form of €25 million being needed to balance the books. That is why Lyon didn’t sign a single player last season, or at least anyone who cost any money, and that is why they aren’t planning a spending spree this summer as well, despite a third place finish which might bring them back into the Champions League next season.
But despite these financial problems, Lyon have no intention of selling players who have been brought up through their youth system this summer. Possibly counting on making it into the competition to balance their accounts, Grenier, 22, isn’t likely to be sold, even though he has only one season left on his contract with the team and the breath of fresh air money from his departure might bring.
Lyon are thinking about continuing to base their lineup on players coming from their excellent youth academy, and when it comes to Grenier, they’re hoping they can get him to extend his contract instead of watch him play out his final season before leaving for free in 2014.
Grenier is known for his versatility, being able to play as an attacking midfielder and out wide despite naturally being positioned in the middle of the field. He’s an excellent free-kick taker and has quite the impressive technique, leading many to compare him to Yoann Gourcuff, although hopefully he won’t fizzle out instead of becoming the star many predict he can be. In 67 career appearances for Lyon, Grenier has 7 goals (all from last season) and 15 assists.