Looking at Ligue 1 Player of the Year winners after Lacazette joins Arsenal

first_img 2014/15: Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon) – The player to stop Ibrahimovic from winning the gong four seasons in a row, Lacazette scored 31 and set up eight in 40 appearances as Lyon finished runners up. In the next two seasons he scored 23 and 37 goals respectively before securing a £52.7m move to Arsenal. 2009/10: Lisandro Lopez (Lyon) – Not to be confused with the other Argentinian Lisandro Lopez who is at Benfica, Lyon signed the forward from Porto as a replacement for Karim Benzema in 2009. He took no time to settle as Lyon missed out on the title to Marseille by six points, but Lopez was the standout performer. He scored 24 and assisted nine in 49 appearances and stayed at the club until 2013 before moving to Qatari side Al-Gharafa Sports Club. Now aged 34, he moved to Internacional in Brazil before returning to Argentina with Racing Club. 11 2005/06: Juninho (Lyon) – The free-kick specialist enjoyed the best years of his club career in the south of France and was Ligue 1’s best player in 2005/06. He scored 13, assisting 18 more, in 41 appearances in all competitions as Lyon won their fifth successive title. The Brazilian made over 300 appearances for the club before moving to Qatar and later returning to Vasco de Gama, and also having a brief spell with New York Red Bulls. 2012/13, 2013/14, 2015/16: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain) – Paris Saint-Germain were on the rise after their 2011 game-changing takeover and they secured the signing of Swedish maverick Zlatan Ibrahimovic the following year. The former Barcelona striker would go on to be the league’s best player for three of his four seasons in France, scoring over 150 goals as they won four titles in a row. He left the club after the expiry of his contract, finally making the move to England with Manchester United aged 34, and was the club’s standout player, scoring 28 and assisting 10 in 46 appearances before suffering a serious season-ending injury in April. Now out of contract and on the road to recovery, his next move is yet to be confirmed. 2010/11, 2011/12: Eden Hazard (Lille) – Rudi Garcia’s Lille were the shock winners of the 2010/11 Ligue 1 title and a key part of that was Eden Hazard, who was rapidly emerging as one of the world’s most exciting talents. He was the division’s best player for the next two seasons, as some of the world’s biggest clubs started to show their interest in the Belgian winger. It was clear Hazard was leaving the club in 2012 to go on to bigger things and it was a question of who rather then when. The 21-year-old announced he would be joining the European champions – Chelsea – in a deal worth around £32m and it is fair to say he has been a success. Hazard has won two Premier League titles, one Europa League and a League Cup, playing a key role in all of them as he has been named Chelsea’s Player of the Year on three occasions. Real Madrid are said to remain interested in bringing him to the Bernabeu. 11 11 2006/07: Florent Malouda (Lyon) – Malouda was 26 years of age when he really stood out for Lyon, scoring 13 goals and assisting 12 more in 46 appearances in all competitions. Lyon secured successive wins over Real Madrid in the Champions League in as many seasons and Malouda’s starring performances on the left of midfield were key to that. That, along with his increasing influence in France’s national team, led to interest from the Spanish giants, as well as Chelsea, who went on to sign him for around £13.5m. He spent six years at Stamford Bridge, winning one Premier League title, three FA Cups and a Champions League before leaving for Trabzonspor. Now 37, he is currently plying his trade in India with Delhi Dynamos. 11 Alexandre Lacazette is the latest Ligue 1 Player of the Year to make a big-money move across Europe.The Lyon forward has joined Arsenal for a reported £52million transfer fee, signing a five-year deal at the Emirates, with Arsene Wenger hoping he can take them to the next level.READ MORE: Gerard Houllier tells talkSPORT: Alexandre Lacazette is like Ian Wright and will guarantee goals for ArsenalHe has been one of the top performers in France over the years and was regularly linked with a move to some of Europe’s biggest clubs.He was the Ligue 1 Player of the Year in 2014/15 after an impressive season with Lyon – but what have previous winners of the award gone on to do?talkSPORT has taken a look at every winner since Didier Drogba won the accolade in 2004.Click the right arrow, above, to view the slideshow… 11 2004/05: Michael Essien (Lyon) – A central midfielder rarely gets the credit he deserves, so it is testament to Essien’s performances that he was awarded with this accolade in Lyon’s title-winning season. He played 49 times for his club in that campaign, 37 in the league, scoring nine in all competitions and his eye-catching performances had some of Europe’s biggest clubs circling. Chelsea won the race for his signature, paying around £24.4m, and he became a key part of Jose Mourinho’s midfield engine room, making 256 appearances for the Blues in an eight-and-a-half year spell. He won two Premier League titles, the Champions League, three FA Cups and one League Cup and was even signed on loan by Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. 11 2007/08: Karim Benzema (Lyon) – After a number of strikers left the club in the summer of 2007, manager Alain Perrin instilled his confidence in 20-year-old Benzema, a product of the club’s academy. He was already in and around France’s senior team and the confidence of being first-choice striker helped Benzema net 31 goals and 11 assists in 52 appearances as they stormed to their seventh successive league title. With Europe’s top clubs circling, Real Madrid secured his signing in 2009 for around £30m and he has proved to be a success at the Bernabeu. Despite being behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the popularity pecking order, Benzema has scored 181 goals in 365 appearances for Los Blancos. 11 11 11 11 2008/09: Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux) – After Lyon’s seven-year domination in France, their run was ended as Boreaux stormed to a shock Ligue 1 title triumph and Gourcuff was key to that. A player regularly linked with a move to England during his best playing days, Gourcuff returned to France with Bordeaux in 2008 after failing to settle at AC Milan. The playmaker seemed to find his rhythm under Laurent Blanc, scoring 15 goals and assisting 14 in 49 appearances in all competitions. He stayed put for another season, then moving to rivals Lyon, spending five years before moving to Rennes in 2015. Now 30 years old, Gourcuff’s career never really kickstarted outside of France like people expected him to. 11 2003/04: Didier Drogba (Marseille) – Birmingham were reportedly close to agreeing a deal with Marseille for Drogba 2016/17: Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain) – After years of being in Ibrahimovic’s shadow, Cavani finally got the recognition he deserved. After the Swedish maverick’s departure, Cavani was the main man and played in a more central position, scoring an incredible 49 goals (35 in the league) and racking up six assists as PSG finished runners up. Has previously been linked with the Premier League after successful spells in France and Italy with Napoli, the 30-year-old appears happier in Paris after a new lease of life last term.last_img

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