Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar has been left out of Les Gones’ squad to face Reims this weekend after refusing to warm down with his teammates shortly after the victory over Angers last weekend, L’Equipe claims.
The France international was an unused substitute during the 1-0 win over Angers last weekend and following the game, he declined to attend the warm-down session which was scheduled by the staff as an alternative to the training on Monday.
Aouar would have obviously been frustrated after not coming on against Angers, but L’Equipe claims that the 22-year-old cited the poor nature of the playing field as the main reason behind his decision to stay put in the dressing room.
That was, however, not taken lightly by sporting director Juninho and director of football Vincent Ponsot and following their consent with club president Jean-Michel Aulas, the playmaker has been left out of the travelling squad to face Reims.
Aouar was in top form for Les Gones last season with nine goals and 10 assists from 41 appearances and he played a starring role against the likes of Juventus and Manchester City as the club reached their maiden Champions League semi-final.
He has struggled to replicate the form during the current campaign and has so far registered two goals and one assist from eight outings. Both of his goals, however, have come from the penalty spot unlike last season where all his contributions were from open play.
Obviously, it is well known that he was the subject of interest from Premier League club Arsenal earlier this summer, but the north London giants were unable to meet the demands set by the Ligue 1 outfit as they were working on a limited transfer budget.
Mikel Arteta’s side could return for the Frenchman’s services at the turn of the year, but it is unclear whether Les Gones would consider a mid-season departure. Aulas recently said that he would like to keep hold of Aouar, Memphis Depay and Moussa Dembele until next summer to boost the club’s Champions League prospects.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com