Sometimes getting rid of your best player makes you better and other times it does not. But for Lyon getting rid of striker Karim Benzema might have been the best thing that they could have done. During the summer the super talented striker traded Lyon for Real Mardrid. The transfer fee was priced at €35 million with the fee rising to as much as €41 million based on incentives.
Instead of pocketing the money, the Lyon board decided to splash the cash in hopes of regaining the Ligue 1 title. They brought in forward Bafetimbi Gomis from Saint-Etienne for a fee of €13m; Defender Aly Cissokho from Porto for a fee of €15m; Brazilian defender Michel Bastos from Lille for a fee of €18m; Argentinean forward Lisandro Lopez from Porto for a fee of €24m. In all told they spend 70 millions euros on improving their squad. The talent added plus the continued development of play maker Miralem Pjanic has made Lyon a force.
So far the plan seems to be paying off. During the first four games of the season Lyon has scored 11 goals including a 5-1 win over Anderlecht in the first leg of their Champions League Playoff. During their first leg win, Bastos, Gomis, and Lopez scored and the team played with a flair that was not present in Europe over the last couple of years. The speed they showed during the game was amazing, they looked like the fasted team in Europe.
In the past, Lyon dominated the French League and then failed when it came to getting to the Champions League Final. With the moves that they have made and the continued development of Pjanic, Lyon might be closer to being in a Champions League Final then ever before.