Lille OSC is a Lique one professional football club in France popularly called LOSC based in Lille. The club was formed in 1944 and currently plays its matches at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in nearby Villeneuve D’asco. The club has been in the news recently because of her prudence in the Player transfer market. Lille has demonstrated in recent years that a club can perform at the highest level without breaking banks.
The Ligue 1 side have become masters at developing young talents before selling them on for a considerable profit. Prominent on their list is Eden Hazard whom they recruited as a 14-year-old boy in 2005. Seven years later they sold him to Chelsea for 32 million pounds. They have gone on to make so many other bargain deals even in recent times. Despite selling on these stars, they are still very competitive.
What makes the difference for the club? One may likely ask. The owner of the club Gerard Lopez while fielding questions from BBC World service football said;
“We are a destination that young players love; they know we are going to trust youth. Last year we played with the youngest squad in the Champions League, so it’s an attractive destination for a young player.”
They have a history of attracting young players whom they nurture, sharpen their skills, and sell them on for profit. Recently they recruited Luis Campos from Monaco, and he has overseen their recent transfer success. The 55-year-old Sporting Director joined the club in 2017 after a successful spell at Monaco. He signed Fabinho, Anthony Martial, and Bernardo Silva while at Monaco.
“Luis will call me up, literally out of nowhere,” Lopez the Lille president, says of his sporting director. “One minute he is in Chile, and then he calls me two days later, and he’s in the Czech Republic, and he tells me ‘we gotta get this kid’.
“Everyone knows that Messi is good, or Ronaldo, or Dybala. We find players that people haven’t seen”. “We are never going to be Real Madrid or Barcelona. So you have got to find your spot, identify where your strength is. From day one ‘we know for the big, big talent, we aren’t an ending club’. “We have to be able to spot talent early on, so we don’t have to spend 60m or 70m euros on a player we spent 20m on, and that is fundamental”.
In the three years of Luis Campos’s arrival, he has signed Pepe from Angers in 2017 for 10m euros. He later sold him to Arsenal for 72m pounds. Osimhen whom he signed from Charleroi last year for a meager 12m euros left for Napoli in July for an initial 70m euros.
Lille has used some of the money from the Osimhen deal to buy 20-year-old Canada forward Jonathan David from Gent. He came for a club-record fee, reportedly 30m euros (£27.1m). In the meantime, they have also persuaded Andre Gomes to join from Manchester United on a free transfer. The England u20 international is going out on loan for a year to Portuguese club Boavista.
Defender Gabriel, joined from Brazilian side Avai in 2017, presently he is set to be the next big-money departure. The 22-year-old is linked with a £30m move to Everton, Arsenal, Napoli, and a host of other clubs. Going by the Club owner’s statement, Gabriel is another player in their ranks who will move this summer. The club president has this to say when quizzed about the Gabriel situation;
“We are there now, so we told him. ‘Eventually, you have to make a decision, but we’re not pressing you.’ I think he will make it this week, or next week at the latest. He is leaving. We’ve given the ok for that.
From Eden Hazard to Nicholas Pepe, Victor Osimhen, and Gabriel Magalhaes. We will be on the lookout the next bargain buys Lille OSC will be churning out next.