Regular listeners to the Totally Football Show’s European edition will already be very familiar with Rayan Cherki.
Well, we mentioned him once. But hopefully the name stuck in your mind so that your ears pricked up this weekend when the Lyon cub absolutely stormed onto the scene with an astonishing performance in the Coupe de France for Lyon.
Cherki, who only turned 16 a few months ago, started his second senior game for Lyon as they faced Nantes in the cup: he scored in the opening minute, scored another eight minutes later before setting up two more with a couple of pinpoint through-balls and for good measure won a penalty, in what was eventually a 4-3 win for his side.
“I don’t want to brag,” bragged Julien Laurens on this week’s European Totally Football Show, “but remember back in October, when he had made his debut aged 16 and two days, we said he was starting to make a name for himself. He’d played in the youth leagues, did incredibly well and got his chance in the first team. He played in the Champions League, a little bit in the various cups as well.”
And now this. Over to Jules to tell us a bit more about this surdoue…
“He’s just an incredible talent, born and bred in Lyon, went through the academy. His skills are incredible, pace on the ball, vision – he’s got everything. There’s plenty of time and will need to work on things – he’s not ready to start every game and play against Juventus in the Champions League, but at that age, showing what he’s showing…we shouldn’t compare, but at that age Karim Benzema hadn’t played in the first-team, Kylian Mbappe hadn’t.
“His favourite position on the left side as a forward, or an attacking midfielder, but in this game he played just off the striker.
“Lyon are looking for some attacking options [in the transfer market] because Memphis Depay and Jeff Reine-Adelaide are injured, but Cherki’s emergence is making them think “Do we need anyone else?” He’s already changing the landscape now in terms of what Lyon are thinking in terms of recruitment, because he’s been so good, so quickly.”
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