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Lyon mean business this summer as prodigal sons return home

After experiencing their worst Ligue 1 season in the 21st century, Lyon have made decisive steps toward closing the gap on the best sides in France’s top division.

Peter Bosz’s men finished eighth in Ligue 1 in 2021/22, failing to secure European football for next season.

For what it’s worth, they racked up four wins from five league matches down the tail-end of last season, laying the foundation for the team’s growth in 2022/23.

However, Les Gones have realised it takes more than a few decent results to get back in contention for the Champions League spots.

They have already completed several high-profile deals to strengthen their squad as part of the club’s effort to challenge higher up the table next season.

Five years after leaving the Groupama Stadium for Arsenal, standout striker Alexandre Lacazette has returned to help his boyhood club regain former heights.

The 31-year-old forward, who experienced mixed fortunes at the Emirates Stadium, has signed a three-year contract.

It seems that Lacazette’s return has set the tone for what will be a busy summer for Lyon.

In the latest Ligue 1 transfers, Corentin Tolisso followed in the footsteps of his compatriot and rejoined Les Gones as a free agent on July 1.

As announced by the club’s website, the 27-year-old has penned a five-year deal upon the expiration of his contract at Bayern Munich.

Tolisso left Lyon to link up with record-time Bundesliga champions in 2017, carrying a reputation as one of Europe’s most exciting midfield prospects.

However, he struggled to settle at the Allianz Arena, with recurring injury problems hindering his progress in Munich.

The 27-year-old was part of the Bayern squad to win five Bundesliga titles and the Champions League in 2019/20, clocking up 118 appearances for the Bavarian powerhouse.

Despite showing flashes of his potential, Tolisso exited Bayern as an unfulfilled talent, hoping to get his stuttering career back on track in his homeland.

In his first interview as a new Lyon player, he refused to hide his excitement about returning to familiar surroundings.

“I am very happy to return and join the club’s new project. Lyon is my city, it’s where I grew up, where I feel at home and I am returning with great pleasure,” he said.

“I felt a lot of love from the supporters and I can’t wait to celebrate with them again at Groupama Stadium.”

In addition to Tolisso’s return, Lyon announced another major deal on the opening summer transfer window day.

As per Fabrizio Romano, Les Gones have extended Tete’s loan from Shakhtar Donetsk for another season.

The versatile Brazilian forward moved to Ligue 1 on a short-term loan in March due to FIFA’s decision to allow foreign players to leave Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion of the country.

Tete made nine league appearances for Bosz’s side in the second half of the 2021/22 season, scoring twice and laying off five assists.

The 22-year-old’s blistering displays have convinced Lyon to hand him another season in Ligue 1 amid the club’s aggressive recruitment campaign.

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