Neymar’s transfer to Paris Saint-Germain has initiated a ripple effect that is bound to once again interlace the futures of Maxwel Cornet and Ousmane Dembele, the two highly-exciting attacking prospects Europe has been buzzing about over the past couple of years.
Again? – You would ask. Let us explain.
The 20-year-old Ivory Coast forward Maxwel Cornet started his professional career at Metz, but it wasn’t until he arrived to Lyon in 2015 that he started making a name for himself.
Having made his Ligue 1 debut at his new club in a game against his old one, Cornet came on to replace injured Alexandre Lacazette in a 2-0 victory over Metz. What Lyon fans got on that 25 January 2015 was the natural successor to their key man who is as of this summer plying his trade over at Arsenal in the Premier League.
Much like his more illustrious former teammate Lacazette, the 20-year-old Maxwel Cornet is a forward who likes to play it wide from the flanks. His propensity to drive inside makes him a valuable central option as well. Cornet is a player who boasts great creativity and on-ball ability which also makes him a versatile option to have upfront as a player capable of finishing plays himself or setting up teammates upfront.
After the total of 4 appearances for Lyon in his first half season at French giants, Maxwel Cornet enjoyed a brilliant second season – his first full one at Park Olympique Lyonnais. The numbers don’t do justice to his credit however, as eight goals and one assist in 16 Ligue 1 starts could be deceiving to some extent.
Speaking about the connection to Ousmane Dembele, this is exactly where it first comes to the forefront. Hadn’t it been for the former Rennes starlet and his 12 goals in 29 appearances for the club, Cornet would have got much more of attention for his exceptional exploits at Lyon.
Six goals in 33 Ligue outings last term, without Ousmane Dembele to stand in his way, however, have come to confirm Cornet’s imposing quality and talents which have not gone unnoticed. The string of European giants including the likes of Liverpool – but also Watford and a couple of other sides – have come calling. Still, it’s Ousmane Dembele’s current club Borussia Dortmund that brings about yet another connection between the two talented strikers.
As far as Ousmane Dembele is concerned, his Borussia Dortmund episode is as good as over. That being said, Cornet’s Dortmund episode could be about to begin.
The 20-year-old French forward does not only look gloomy at training, but he also makes no effort to hide his desire to move to Barcelona. Former Rennes man has been on Barcelona radar last season, when Dembele himself thought Dortmund would be a better choice for his fledging career.
Dortmund as Springboard
He got it right, to be honest, as he went on to score 6 goals in 22 Bundesliga outings and amass 12 assists playing in a number of positions across the frontline during an underwhelming season for Dortmund.
What he did not get right, however, was the notion that he would be allowed to walk away from Dortmund after a single year at Westfalenstadion.
Fortunately for Dembele, Borussia Dortmund management has a shrewd sense of business and is more than willing to sell its prized asset for what is likely to be nearly ten times the amount paid for his services only 12 months ago.
The Germans are ready to shift their focus to Maxwel Cornet, valued at €10 million, knowing they will get roughly the same talent to Dembele’s for a significantly lower price.
On their own part, however, Lyon are not too keen to part ways with a man who is expected to lead the line in Lacazette’s absence and could go on to double or triple the player’s value when it comes to their asking price.
A Chance of a Lifetime
Potential move to Dortmund would be a huge challenge for Cornet who will have big shoes to fill but it’s a classic Borussia Dortmund move.
The German heavyweights have once again bolstered their ranks with a string of young but exciting players such as Maximiliam Philipp (23) and Mahmoud Dahoud (21) and Cornet fits the bill perfectly with his 20 years of age.
With Borussia Dortmund’s squad average age of 25.2, Maxwel Cornet would be a perfect addition to a youthful bunch hoping to pip Bayern Munich to domestic glory this season.
It might be a long, long shot but Dortmund can be found at 7/1 betting odds to be crowned Bundesliga champions this season.
But would Dembele’s departure be a crucial blow to their Bundesliga chances? Could Cornet become his worthy successor in a Yellow and Black shirt?
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