Genesio: 'Win the Europa League'
Olympique Lyonnais boss Bruno Genesio has declared that his main goal for season 2017-18 is to win the Europa League, claiming that the club's summer signings will make up for a raft of big-name departures.
Olympique Lyonnais coach Bruno Genesio may have been promoted to the top job from his assistant coaching position when Hubert Fournier was shown the door in December 2015, but this isn't stopping him from setting his sights high for the 2017-18 campaign.
Indeed, following his side's fourth-placed finish in 2016-17, Genesio will once again be contesting the Europa League - the competition he took the club to the semis of last season - and he is looking to go one better.
"This season, we will do all we can to secure a return to the Champions League and to go as far as possible in the Europa League, the final of which will be played in Lyon," said the OL boss, currently with the team in China for the International Champions Cup. "We will be up against some Europe's biggest clubs, but winning the Europa League is my number one objective."
So what's the thinking behind this ambitious outlook?
"It's true that, these last few seasons, we have struggled to mix it with Paris and Monaco in the title race. But we have made a lot of investments in terms of recruitment and in terms of the Groupama Stadium - a club-owned arena - which is unique in France. All of this will get us back in the title picture," he explained. "We have had some big-name departures but we have signed some high-quality players, and that will really help us towards our ambitious objectives.
Traoré: 'Show what I'm made of'
Star striker Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal), all-action midfielder Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich) and former club captain Maxime Gonalons (AS Roma) may have left, but a raft of new faces - Bertrand Traoré, Fernando Marçal, Mariano Diaz, Ferland Mendy, Marcelo Guedes and Kenny Tete - have come in to bolster the squad with quality all over the pitch.
"There are a lot of different nationalities in the squad. We have a good group, with a lot of players who ooze talent looking to carve out a place for themselves and thus pushing others to outdo themselves," said Traore, who helped knock his new club out of the Europa League semis while at Ajax on loan from Chelsea last season. "I'm one of the youngsters who is looking to show what I'm made of with a big club in Ligue 1 - OL. I think we have a good mix in the team: talent, hard work and progress. We’re doing all we can to play well and get better results this season."