Some of the most compelling moves in the January transfer window could be found in France. Olympique Lyonnais not only won the race for Catarina Macario’s signature, but they also wooed Damaris Egurrola away from Everton.
Today, they were both unveiled at a press conference. President Jean-Michel Aulas and coach Jean-Luc Vasseur were also in attendance.
“They represent the future of the club.”
Egurrola was bought out of her contract at Everton after half a season. This €100,000 price tag for acquiring her might raise eyebrows. Especially given she is an up-and-coming prospect rather than an established talent. But Lyon are clearly building for the long-term.
The Spaniard joins Lyon ahead of two important midfield contracts expiring in the summer. Saki Kumagai – who is already on a year’s extension – and Amandine Henry.Embed from Getty Images
Whispers around the club suggest Henry is considering her options, though Lyon would give her a new contract if she desired.
Macario was recently given FIFA clearance to represent the United States. In her full international debut she scored. Aulas did not hold back in his praise for the player. Calling her signing “one of the most significant” in the history of the club.
Both players, he insisted, represented the future of Lyon
“When the best team in the world calls you… you say yes.”
Ahead of the press conference, Egurrola spoke to OLTV. The youngster was “shocked” but “grateful” to sign.
“It’s a little girl’s dream” Egurrola claimed. The midfielder has always fantasised of playing for Lyon. It has been an exciting time not just for her, but for her family.
After announcing Macario’s contract, the club shared a video featuring the player. When asked what Lyon represented to her, Macario answered “equality in football.” She also saw the club as having “the best players in the world.”Embed from Getty Images
Both new signings were also excited for the “elite training environment.” In the press conference, they backed up their initial elation with determination to win titles.
Macario was also asked about Ada Hegerberg. The prolific goalscorer had been in contact with the youngster upon discovering she was coming to Lyon.
Divilguing the contents of the call with a smile, Macario was clearly a fan of the Ballon d’Or winner. Hegerberg discussed her aspirations for the club with her, and how she saw Macario fitting in.
“When you hear the wonderful player that [Hegerberg] is say that about you it felt like such a big honour.”
“There’s a legacy of success… I cannot wait to contribute.”
Though it is early days for the pair, coach Vasseur already has a sense of their respective talents. Regarding Egurrola, Vasseur singled out her “great quality” of passing. For Macario, it was her “intense creativity” that drew their attention.
Over the next week, both players will meet their teammates and be fully integrated into the club. Aulas hopes to have completed a smooth transition by the end of the month.Embed from Getty Images
Their debuts could be sooner than people anticipated. Egurrola, who has already started training with the team, is in contention for selection this Friday. Lyon are travelling to Reims in the upcoming round of the Coupe de France Féminine.
Given her time in the USWNT camp, Macario will have to wait a little longer. Aulas suggested we may see her listed in the group to face Montpellier in early February.