Player Features

Lyon eye Barcelona striker to replace floundering Nigerian

Reports in the French media suggest that 21-year-old
forward Gift Orban could leave Olympique Lyon at the
end of the season.

Orban joined Lyon at the start of the season after showcasing
his talent with Belgian club Gent, where he scored 18 goals in 33
appearances during the previous season.

Roped into the Lyon setup to primarily understudy club legend
Alexandre Lacazette who is entering the twilight of his career, the
Nigerian international has flattered to deceive since his arrival
at Lyon.

Gift Orban @ Icon SportGift Orban @ Icon Sport
Photo by Icon

This has got the Lyon hierarchy eyeing a potential replacement
for Orban, who has made 12 Ligue 1 appearances with two starts for
Lyon this term.

Earlier reports emerged that Ajax forward Georges Mikautadze
could be in line to replace Orban at Lyon.

The 23-year-old Georgia international, who is currently on loan
from Ajax Amsterdam to Ligue 1 side Metz, has had a fantastic

A new development has surfaced linking the former Ligue 1
champions to a player from FC Barcelona.

Who are Lyon considering to replace
Gift Orban?

According to Mundo Deportivo, John Textor and David Friio
already have an FC Barcelona player in their sights. Lyon are
reportedly eyeing a move for Vitor Roque.

Having arrived last January at Barça for €40 million from
Athletico Paranaense, the young 19-year-old striker is regarded as
a promising talent for Brazilian football. However, his adaptation
at the Catalan club has proven to be rather challenging.

With Robert Lewandowski leading the attack, Roque finds himself
relegated to a substitute role. While facing stiff competition is
expected, his playing time has significantly decreased in recent

In fact, Roque has only featured for 62 minutes in Barça’s last
5 matches across all competitions. This limited game time is
insufficient for the Brazilian talent who requires regular minutes
on the pitch.

As a result, a loan move is being considered. Several clubs
including Sevilla, Nice and Napoli are reportedly interested in
acquiring his services on a temporary basis.

The young Brazilian has made 11 La Liga appearances, starting
two of them and scoring two goals in the process.

What has become of Orban at Lyon?
Delving into his journey and impact

As Lyon’s season draws to a close, fans are curious about the
trajectory of
, the talented attacker who arrived at the club with high

Since joining Lyon from Belgian club Gent at the beginning of
the season, Orban’s journey has been closely watched by supporters
and pundits alike.

Earlier hailed for his impressive goal-scoring record at Gent,
where he netted 18 goals in 33 appearances the previous season,
hopes were high for Orban to make a significant impact at Lyon.
However, his transition to the new club hasn’t been without its

Despite flashes of brilliance, Orban has found consistent
playing time hard to come by in Lyon’s competitive attacking

With stiff competition for starting spots, he has often been
relegated to a substitute role, limiting his opportunities to
replicate his scoring prowess from his Gent days.

Gift Orban @ Icon SportGift Orban @ Icon Sport
Photo by Icon

Considering his limited opportunities at Lyon, seeking a loan
move to another club could be a strategic move for Orban to gain
valuable experience and exposure at a higher level of

Prior to his stint at Lyon, Orban was a subject of interest from
Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt and English Premier League side

Narrowly missing out on the 2023 CAF Young Player of the Year
accolade, Orban’s nomination among other gifted African footballers
underscores his immense potential and bright future.

A departure from Lyon might just be the spark required for him
to realise his aspirations and carve a niche for himself in the

Due to his outstanding performances for Gent, Orban was widely
expected to secure a spot in Jose
Peseiro’s final AFCON 2023 squad
 after being initially
named in the provisional squad. However, he was ultimately
overlooked for selection.

He was called up by Peseiro for an AFCON 2023 qualifier against
Sao Tome and Principe but was unable to play due to an injury
sustained in a league game before the match held in Nigeria.

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