Planning on selling Boubakary Soumaré this summer, Lille needed to replace him, which is why they turned their attention to HSV in Germany and bought Amadou Onana.
The Belgium U21 international is slowly but surely being integrated into Jocelyn Gourvennec’s team in the north of France, and there are a lot of expectations surrounding him due to the interest that was being shown in him over the summer, with Lille seeing off a few competitors for the 20-year-old, who is likely to grow as the season goes, with many at Lille hoping he becomes the new mainstay in midfield for the next few years.
However, like a lot of players to have signed for (or emerged at) Lille before him, it could be that he has one or two seasons in the Ligue 1 side’s first-team before being sold for a profit, with Liverpool’s Divock Origi and example of this.
It’s not something he’s going to be thinking about now, but RMC Sport nudged him in that direction when speaking to him on Friday, as they asked him about previous Belgians to have come through the club, naming the aforementioned Anfield resident and Eden Hazard, and wondering if it had any impact in his decision to sign for Lille over other interested parties.
He replied: “I don’t know if it played a part, but this connexion between Lille and Belgians has always worked really well. There’s no reason why it wouldn’t this time around. They are players who have had very good careers, who are now at Liverpool and Real Madrid. If things go that way for me, sign me up immediately”.
While Origi isn’t exactly a regular starter under Jürgen Klopp these days, the 26-year-old does have Champions League and Premier League medals to his name, which every footballer dreams of having.
We’ll have to wait and see if Onana’s career takes a similar path, but the potential is there, and Liverpool so happen to be on the lookout for a new midfielder following the exit of Georginio Wijnaldum in the summer…