Olympique Lyonnais sign Zambrano.
Carlos Zambrano has been confirmed as an official Olympique Lyonnais player after the defender completed a £3.7m switch from Eintracht Frankfurt to the French outfit.
Central defender Zambrano is of Peruvian nationality and becomes new Lyon manager Juninho’, third signing of the summer. He is however, the first addition to be signed for a fee with Guillermo Ochoa and Tom Ince previously joining the club on free transfers.
The 24 year old has made the move from the German Bundesliga, more specifically Eintracht Frankfurt, a club where he has continued to further his ability which was already strongly recognized by many. In fact, comparisons have been drawn regarding Zambrano and the Brazilian defender Lucio, due to his style of play and in general very impressive defensive talents.
He only signed for Frankfurt in 2012, for a bargain £925k, and went on to be a successful signing. He made 51 appearances in two season, however failed to score a goal. His departure from the club has represented the third time he has switched teams in his professional playing career, having moved from Schalke to St. Pauli in 2010 before moving on to Frankfurt as already mentioned and now to Olympique Lyonnais.
During his time at Die Konigsblauen, Zambrano progressed through the youth ranks and was even captain before making 16 appearances for the senior side. At St. Pauli he went onto make 30 appearances during two loan spell and signed permanently for the club to, a fee of just £600k enough to secure his signature. However, his permanent move didn’t last long as he moved onto Frankfurt which was where he really made a name for himself.
He has been a long term target for Barclays Premier League side Liverpool, however it is Olympique Lyonnais who have won the race for a man who has represented his country, Peru, on 25 occasions. Juninho spoke to the media about the new face at Stade de Gerland, insisting that Zambrano will add a lot of quality to the central defensive role. ”He’s a real talent, and will add a lot of quality to the central defensive role. I had targeted that area, as one which needed strengthening so to get in Carlos is very pleasing indeed. As you may know, we don’t have huge financial resources at all so to pick up the lad for a little price as we did, is a very good piece of business in my opinion. He’s strong, reasonably quick and all round is a good defender who is still only 24. I’m sure the fans, will be happy with the signing once they have seen him play.”
Zambrano told reporters that he was gracious of the opportunity offered to him after completing his move to France but was also thankful to his former club for aiding his development as a player. ”Olympique Lyonnais is a club I have always admired, and Juninho was a player I loved too, so I am gracious of the opportunity offered to me here at this wonderfully supported club. I enjoyed my time in Frankfurt of course, and I have to thank them in aiding my development as a player but now I am in a new country and am naturally excited to be able to put on the Lyon shirt.”
Juninho is still determined to sell any deadwood of his squad in order to fund a final move into the transfer market, with the signing of a striker his top priority. However, it seems as if little interest has been shown in the unwanted players and the board are also unwilling to invest any more money, casting doubt into any future additions.