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Toko Ekambi goes on loan to Lyon

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Forward has been linked with a move.

Villarreal CF v Getafe CF - La Liga Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Our strike force has been reduced by one for the remainder of the season. Both Villarreal and Lyon have announced the loan signing of Toko Ekambi with a purchase option available to Lyon at the end of the year. Toko had fallen out of favor and this move was rumored, though the structuring of the deal has some interesting implications.

A loan with a purchase option, as opposed to an obligation, works in Lyon’s favor. If the player does not work out in this first six months, they can cancel and we don’t really gain anything. While the monetary figure behind the purchase option was not mentioned in Villarreal’s announcement, the rumour is that it will be €20m, a solid fee that would more or less allow us to break even on the player. Presumably, we negotiated for that purchase number to be higher in exchange for giving Lyon six months to wait. Lyon is currently outside the European places in France and if they do not get into Europe their monetary situation will look much different in six months.

As for the player himself, he is more or less making a lateral move in terms of club prestige while going to a much much weaker league. Toko was born in Paris, so in some ways this represents a homegoing for him. Personally, I hate losing striker depth at this point in the season, but without European football to spread appearances around in I can understand his frustration with his playing time.

Not every purchase is a smashing success. Toko Ekambi had his bright moments in a yellow shirt and we’re very appreciative to him for that and we hope he finds success at Lyon!

UPDATE:

As soon as I hit publish I saw a tweet from Javi Mata saying that there is a loan fee of 4m with a 15m option to buy. I like this deal even better because even if Lyon reject the option we still profit from both the loan fee and also from not having to pay wages for half a season.