- On the field - For this season it will provide Puel with a wide variety of options at midfield. With Pjanic and Gourcuff, he has two true play-makers he can leverage. While the Bosnian has bags of talent, he is only 20 and, although Gourcuff is still only 24, has valuable experience and will bring that to the table. Speaking of Pjanic, the noise is that he is itching to make a move to an English club. He was already mildly linked to moving to the EPL prior to his move to Lyon. After a good season last year, including a strong Champions League showing (including the winning goal versus Real Madrid), I doubt he will be around for much more than this season and next at most. Having a Gourcuff ensures you have your play-maker for the long term. Not a bad midfield of Gourcuff, Grenier and Gonalons to build around...hmm the "G" midfield...sorry could not resist (I also assume Toulalan will slot back in central defense). In addition, Lyon has their set piece taker, something they have not had consistently since Juninho left.
- Off the field - Puel and the powers that be at Lyon are not bad business people....how else can you explain that a team that over a decade ago was a nice club, but in the shadows of the likes of OM, Bordeaux and PSG. Today they are most valuable side in Ligue 1 and just outside the top 10 most valuable teams of all football. Clearly the addition of the French golden boy will help in the off the field marketing and business efforts of the club. Winning is the most important business and marketing programs for a football team...but having a potential golden boy to lead your marketing efforts is not too bad either. In addition, Puel could be gambling that he can build off field success on having the core of the French national team playing for Lyon - Lloris, Gourcuff, Briand, Toulalan - will give his side great business exposure.
Good move for Lyon and Gourcuff, things just got more complicated for Bordeaux. Question is....who will get #8 for Lyon??? It currently sits on the shoulders of Pjanic.