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AC Milan

GdS: Mother’s doctor dream to midfield dynamo

AC Milan have been linked by French and Italian sources over the past couple of days with a move for Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, but who exactly is the Frenchman?

La Gazzetta dello Sport have produced a background on Aouar starting with his lofty ambitions since he was a kid, when there was the possibility of him becoming a doctor that was more the wish of his mother: “My mother wanted me in a white coat, but I told her I didn’t like her.”

Aouar has always loved football, so much so that if he hadn’t made it as a player then he would have turned to his back-up plan which was to become a sports journalist, as he admitted: “During the interviews I’m at ease, then I would have worked in football.”

However, things worked out on the field as Aouar has been the star of Lyon since his youth academy days. In 2015, with the Under 17 team, he won the league with 16 assists and 25 goals. Bruno Genesio was so impressed that he called him to the first team at the age of 19.

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It took him a few minutes to get to know the senior players but even less to impress them. Back in 2017, in the return match of the Europa League group stages against AZ Alkmaar, he scored almost immediately and earns the nickname of Pepita.

In 2020 he helped take Juve out in the Champions League in the round of 16, with his talent so obvious that the Bianconeri also spoke about him with Lyon president Aulas, but without ever going further.

Aouar knows how to do everything: he is a natural attacking midfielder, he was a box-to-box midfielder, a playmaker and even a winger. In the last two years, however, he stood out above all for what he did in midfield as part of a three, as from 2020 to today he has scored 17 goals and amassed 10 assists.

His strength is inspiration, imagination and creativity, a bit like his idols Zidane and Juninho Pernambucano, now sporting director of OL. The ‘Academy of Talent’ at Lyon therefore produced another gem after Lacazette, Tolisso, Benzema, Fekir, Ben Arfa , Umtiti, Gonalons and Martial.

In his career with Lyon he has 45 goals and 33 assists in 245 games, and Aouar describes himself like this. “I’m not one for tackling, but an elegant player. I have good vision and great technique.”

The source claims that Milan are keen on signing Aouar either on  a free transfer ahead of next season or even in a cut-price January deal, and his entourage are already familiar with Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara.

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