Over the past few seasons, Lyon’s Houssem Aouar has been a name commonly linked with a move to Liverpool, with the promising and highly talented 22-year-old often talked about as an ideal target should the Reds be in need of adding a little midfield creativity.
Now, reports out of France have Lyon lowering their asking price to a mere £25M—a little more than half what they were rumoured to want for him last summer. It’s the result of a season that has seen Aouar take a step back while Lyon need to sell to raise funds.
Or at least that’s the story out of L‘Equipe this week, who say Lyon have a problem on their hands given they need to sell and the player—who for all the talk of him taking a step back is still probably their most saleable asset—isn’t worth what he was a year ago.
However, while Aouar’s headlining numbers have dropped from nine goals, ten assists last season to seven goals, four assists this year, that’s due to him having played fewer games this season, and his goals and assists per minute has actually improved slightly.
Last season, that number stood at a goal or assist every 171 minutes. This season, it’s improved to a goal or assist every 164. And as per Understat, the fact it’s not even better than that is down to his teammates failing to convert the chances he creates.
Much like at Liverpool this season, Lyon’s forwards have gone on something of a scoring slump in 2020-21, and so while Aouar’s expected assist numbers are up, his actual assist numbers are down—but it would seem rather unfair to try to pin that on him.
All of which is to say that if Lyon are in fact desperate to sell and willing to nearly halve their asking price for Aouar, it might be a great time for the Reds to firm up their interest in him if those past links reflected genuine interest in the young French international.