Pep Guardiola bigs up impressive Lyon midfielder – and it’s not Tanguy Ndombele

Lyon again gave Manchester City the sort of problems few Premier League teams have been able to recently, drawing 2-2 with Pep Guardiola’s side last night and being unlucky not to wrap up a double after their win at the Etihad Stadium back in September.

The Ligue 1 side were both compact at the back and dangerous going forward, a tactical balance that City struggled with before eventually scraping a draw that secured them passage to the Champions League Round of 16.

One player among the Lyon ranks City have been linked regularly with is Tanguy Ndombele, the France midfielder who it is claimed Guardiola had a €50 million rejected for last summer.

Ndombele was excellent at the Groupama Stadium, but it was another Lyon midfielder who Pep Guardiola reserved praise for after the game.

France under-21 international Houssem Aouar was sensational in the Lyon midfield, resembling a young Xavi at times with his slick passing, and Pep spoke glowingly of the youngster and his team.

“Houssem Aouar is a very good player, he is incredible,” Guardiola told the press post-match.

“We talk a lot about Ndombele, but Aouar is also excellent. He’s always very calm with the ball at his feet, with an excellent technical quality.

“Lyon really has a very good team. There are young people full of quality and I think the team is in place tactically, I think we can congratulate them, we have had absences tonight, but we have to congratulate them!”

Guardiola has a history of bigging up players then making attempts to sign them, so it may be a case of ‘watch this space’.

And L’Equipe journalist Bilel Ghazi tweeted this morning that not only did Guardiola congratulate Aouar after the match, but Mikel Arteta was raving about him in and ‘even took some information’ on the player.

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