Chelsea's French footballer Florent Malo
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Former Lyon players who have shone in the Premier League amid Bruno Guimaraes form

Former Lyon star Bruno Guimaraes has been a revelation since signing for Premier League side Newcastle United in the January transfer window.

The Magpies signed the Brazilian international from the Ligue 1 giants for £35m and after Eddie Howe slowly eased him into English football, the all-action midfielder is showcasing all of his talents.

The 24-year-old has more goals for the Toon Army (4) from 13 games than he does from the 71 he played for Lyon (3).

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

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Guimaraes has started seven of Newcastle’s last eight Premier League games and he’s become a key part of Howe’s side in such a short space of time and he’ll only probably get better after having a full pre-season under his belt.

The six-time Brazilian international is the latest Lyon player to have been signed from a Premier League club, but not everyone has had the same success in England as Guimaraes has had.

Tottenham signed French midfielder Tanguy Ndombele for a club record £53.8m in July 2019, but the 25-year-old moved back to the Groupama Stadium on loan, on the last day of the January window.

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Ndombele’s return to Lyon for the remainder of the campaign came the day after Guimaraes’ move to Tyneside had gone through.

It was clear the France international didn’t form a part of Antonio Conte’s plans, but here we take a look at seven former Lyon players who have impressed in the English top-flight…

Frederic Kanoute

Photo by Shaun Botterill

The Malian arrived at Upton Park from Lyon in 2000 for a £3.2m transfer fee. In the striker’s first two seasons with the Hammers he scored 11 Premier League goals in each campaign, before scoring five league goals in the 2002/03 campaign which saw the Irons get relegated.

Kanoute was signed by London rivals Tottenham in the summer of 2003 after scoring 33 goals from 91 games for West Ham.

The centre-forward spent two full seasons at White Hart Lane where he scored 22 goals from 73 games before La Liga side Sevilla in August 2005.

It was in Seville where Kanoute’s goalscoring prowess elevated to new heights. Across a seven-year period Kanoute scored 131 goals from 285 matches.

Kanoute won seven trophies with Sevilla which included back-to-back UEFA Cup triumphs. He was also named African Footballer of the Year in 2007. The former Lyon man finished his career in China with Beijing Guoan before retiring in December 2013.

Steed Malbranque

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The midfielder arrived at Craven Cottage for £4.5m in the 2001 summer transfer window along with Edwin van der Sar.

During his five years at Fulham, Malbranque became somewhat of a Fantasy Football coup amongst the big midfielder names in the Premier League.

Malbranque scored at least six goals in all five of his seasons as a Fulham player before Tottenham came calling.

The creative midfielder spent two seasons with Spurs and he scored two goals in the 2008 EFL Cup winning campaign under Juande Ramos.

After spells with Sunderland and Saint-Etienne, Malbranque returned to Lyon in August 2012.

Dejan Lovren

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Mauricio Pochettino’s Southampton signed the 23-year-old Lovren from Lyon in June 2013 for £8.5m and he was only at St Mary’s for one season before Liverpool came calling.

Brendan Rodgers signed the Croatian international for £20m and Lovren followed former Saints teammates Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana to Anfield.

Lovren was a regular at the heart of Liverpool’s defence for four seasons before his game time began to reduce.

He won the Premier League, Champions League and UEFA Super Cup under Jurgen Klopp before moving to Zenit St Petersburg in August 2020.

Hugo Lloris

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Spurs signed the World Cup winner for a fee that could reach £11.8m in September 2012 and after starting that season playing second fiddle to veteran Brad Friedel, Lloris hasn’t looked back.

The 35-year-old has made 411 appearances for Tottenham which have brought 139 clean sheets and he signed a contract extension in January, taking his deal to 2024.

Captain for club and country, Lloris has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League since arriving a decade ago.

Alexandre Lacazette

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Arsene Wenger signed his compatriot for a club record £46.5m in July 2017 and Lacazette arrived at the Emirates as one of the best strikers across Europe.

He netted 129 goals in 275 matches in all competitions for Lyon after breaking into the first team in the 2009-10 campaign.

His 28-goal league tally in his last season in Ligue 1 was bettered by only Paris St-Germain’s Edinson Cavani, with 35.

Since arriving in England, Lacazette’s best goalscoring Premier League campaign came in his first season with 14 goals.

Arsenal’s number nine has struggled to transfer his clinical finishing over from France to England, and with his contract expiring at the end of June, he looks set to leave the Gunners with 71 goals from 202 matches.

Michael Essien

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After a long drawn out summer saga, Essien eventually arrived at Stamford Bridge and was signed for £24.4m.

The Ghanaian was a vital part of Jose Mourinho’s first Chelsea side and his wondergoal against Arsenal in December 2006 will remain a part of Premier League folklore for years to come.

The tough-tackling midfielder also scored a screamer against Barcelona in the 2008/09 Champions League semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge.

Essien was a class act and if he hadn’t struggled with injuries he could have gone down as one of the Premier League’s greats.

Florent Malouda

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Chelsea signed the flying French winger in July 2007 for an undisclosed fee and he was reunited with his former Lyon teammate Essien in west London.

Across a six-year period, the France international scored 45 goals and made 43 assists from 229 matches for the Blues.

Malouda won six trophies at Stamford Bridge, including the Premier League and Champions League.

Capable of playing anywhere across the forward line, Malouda played under seven different managers at Chelsea, but it was under Carlo Ancelotti where he really shined. He scored 29 goals and provided 19 assists from 101 matches under the Italian.

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