Belgian midfielder Orel Mangala has revealed he decided to leave Nottingham Forest for Lyon in January, as he was interested in the project presented to him by the French side.

The midfielder has been speaking to the media ahead of Lyon’s clash with Metz on Friday, when he was naturally asked about his decision to move in January.

He joined Lyon in a loan deal at the end of the January transfer window, with Lyon paying €11.7m to Nottingham Forest to secure his signature in a deal that includes a €17.5m purchase option.

It looks likely that will be activated at some point in the summer as he’s quickly established himself in Lyon’s midfield, with two appearances and one goal to his name in Ligue 1 so far.

The decision to move to France certainly raised some questions, with the Belgian having impressed in the Premier League with Nottingham Forest since joining from VfB Stuttgart in July 2022.

A move to Ligue 1 and to a team at the wrong end of the table in Lyon looks like a step down on the face of it then but he insists that is not the case.

“It’s an attractive championship, a little underestimated for my taste. There are very good players coming out of it, and there is a good level,” he said.

“OL remains an attractive club with a very good history. There are good infrastructures. It is a club that doesn’t deserve to be where it is. The project interested me, and that’s why I came here.”