Olympique Lyonnais coach Rudi Garcia was not impressed after Memphis Depay suffered a relapse of his hamstring injury on international duty, meaning the Dutchman will miss Saturday's clash with OGC Nice.
Olympique Lyonnais - OGC Nice
Depay missed Lyon's 2-1 defeat at Olympique de Marseille in their last outing a fortnight ago because of the problem, but he returned to start for the Netherlands in their 5-0 win over Estonia in a UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier in Amsterdam on Tuesday. However, the forward had to come off at half-time, leaving Garcia to question why national team coach Ronald Koeman selected him for the game when the Netherlands had already secured qualification for the European Championship.
"He injured himself in exactly the same place, the same muscle, his right hamstring, and it is really damaging for Olympique Lyonnais," Garcia said on Thursday, having hoped Depay would be able to play against Nice.
"What bothers me is that he got injured in a match that counted for nothing, against Estonia. I think it is a lack of respect towards Olympique Lyonnais as an institution. We have nine matches in 24 days, but we are not able to use him on Saturday and we don’t know when he will be able to return."
After Saturday's game, Lyon have a crunch Champions League fixture away to Zenit in Russia next Wednesday before visiting RC Strasbourg Alsace next weekend. Depay, who has 11 goals in all competitions this season, started against Estonia having not featured at all in his country's 0-0 draw in Northern Ireland a few days earlier.
"Once again it is a player who is very important for us who played in a game that was not at all important. We had already gone out of our way to ensure he didn't play in Northern Ireland because the Netherlands staff had prepared Memphis for that game. But on Tuesday he hurt himself after 30 minutes," Garcia said, adding: "Let's not forget that it is Olympique Lyonnais who pay him."
As well as Depay, Lyon will be without Houssem Aouar for the meeting with Patrick Vieira's Nice side at the Groupama Stadium. OL had won three matches on the bounce before the defeat in Marseille, while Nice are a point better off than their hosts in the table having taken four points from the last six available.
Lyon: Lopes; Dubois, Andersen, Denayer, Koné; Reine-Adélaïde, Tousart, Mendes; Traoré, Dembélé, Memphis
Nice: Benitez; Burner, Hérelle, Dante, Sarr; Tameze, Cyprien, Lees-Melou; Ganago, Dolberg, Lusamba