There are many versions of Memphis. There is rapper Memphis and there is fashionista Memphis. Fernando Marçal once claimed there is even a pastor Memphis. Crucially, there also exists footballer Memphis – the most contentious version – or versions – of them all.
The infatigable Memphis Depay had run France ragged for ninety minutes. The Dutch were comfortable in the lead, and comfortable on the ball. Memphis took it a tad too literally; with a hint of arrogance, he brought the ball to a standstill and stood on it. A few seconds later, the Netherlands won a penalty and Memphis converted with a cheeky panenka.
Nobody complained. The numbers had won him impunity.
Kante, Touré, Pogba…These are just some of the names to whom Tanguy Ndombélé is compared, which helps people with limited knowledge about him to have a sense of who this next starlet from France is and could be in the future. But to all Olympique Lyonnais supporters and Ligue 1 followers who have had the pleasure of watching him tear through midfields for the past year, it comes as no surprise to see this midfield monster being linked to almost every top side in Europe, as well as receiving his first national team selection.
Regardless of the injury to Corentin Tolisso, it was only a matter of time until Deschamps could no longer ignore Ndombélé’s all conquering performances for OL. As the trend typically goes, people outside of France don’t bat an eyelid at Ligue 1 unless their clubs are linked to the “next *insert cliché name here” star from France. It’s a shame because unlike so many French midfielders before him, Ndombélé is a completely different entity, a player that deserves more credit than merely being linked to a big money move abroad. Ignore the comparisons in the upcoming months and years because soon, we are not going to be talking about the next somebody but the first of a new wave of all action French midfielder.
On deadline day, Lyon secured the signing of Celtic’s 22-year-old French-Malian forward Moussa Dembélé for a reported figure of €22 million; the most Lyon have spent on a single player since Yoann Gourcuff arrived from Bordeaux in 2010 – also for €22 million. With Spanish-Dominican forward Mariano Díaz re-joining Real Madrid, Les Gones needed to sign a forward to supplement the attacking capabilities of the likes of Memphis Depay, Nabil Fekir and Bertrand Traore.
Controls with his right, left foot hook to beat Goalkeeper Sels, right foot hook to beat Lala, and a composed left foot to finish into an empty net. Bertrand Traoré’s latest goal adds style to a superb counter in OL’s recent win over Strasbourg.