Ultimately I had to make a decision and I am happy to remain here’: Lyon star Houssem Aouar opens up on Arsenal’s failed pursuit as he admits sporting director Juninho played a huge role in getting him to stay
As reported by Get French Football News, when asked if his choice was simply between joining Arsenal or staying at Lyon, Aouar said: ‘No, not necessarily. But it is true that at the end it was basically that. So, ultimately I had to make a decision and I am happy to stay here.’
Aouar admitted that Lyon’s sporting director Juninho played a major part in keeping him at the club.
He said: ‘As well as others. I spoke an enormous amount with Juni, everyday he shows his faith in me. It is a real pleasure for me to work with him and stay here for at least another season with Juni is a major source of pride.’
There had been suggestions that Arsenal could sign both Aouar and Thomas Partey, but in the end they only brought in the latter.
Aouar has a strong connection with Lyon having progressed through the ranks at the club’s academy before breaking into the first-team.
The French club were demanding €60million (£55.5m) for the 22-year-old.
Aouar made his debut for France in the 7-1 thrashing of Ukraine this week and provided two assists.
Arsenal retain an interest in Aouar and it will be intriguing to see whether they pursue a move for him in the future.