One to watch: Renato Sanches
Still just 22, Renato Sanches has already won club, international and individual honours before falling off the radar as quickly as he appeared. Now with LOSC, the 2016 golden boy is starting to show what the fuss was all about once again.
The Portugal midfielder ended 2019 on a real high and his contribution will be vital if last season's runners up are to pick up the pace in the race for a UEFA Champions League spot. He has started each of Lille's last five games and coach Christophe Galtier in convinced of his character.
"Renato's a lad who works really hard and who is very frustrated when he doesn't play," he explained to the Ligue 1 Show on beIN SPORTS. "He has a capacity to play. He has personality, his balance is excellent. He's a high-level player who needs to apply his qualities in service of the team."
And that's exactly what Sanches has been doing. The Golden Boy from Euro 2016 sent the Stade Pierre Mauroy into raptures in the last few minutes of Les Dogues' 2-1 win over Montpellier Hérault SC in their penultimate league game before the winter break. It capped off a glorious individual display.
Watch: Highlights of LOSC's 2-1 win over Montpellier
"He did wonderful things," continued Galtier. "Even if a few times he pulled off moves in parts of the field that didn't really make his coach happy, people come to the stadium or watch their TV in order to see these kinds of players.
Good for the team
"Of course, I'm happy for him but also for the team. It's great for his teammates. He's happy and gives off a joyful persona and that's great for the squad."
Recent France international Jonathan Ikoné, who assisted Sanches's goal against Montpellier, agrees.
"He's very strong," he said. "He's getting better and better and it helps the team and with his career he's had, that's all good and I hope he'll carry on like that."
Dijon FCO - LOSC's opponents on Sunday evening - have been warned.