Lille’s impressive production line

Joe Parker

2011 saw Lille complete a domestic league and cup double, taking French football by storm. This team, though, and other talents to grace the Stadde Pierre-Mauroy, have ultimately left for bigger clubs.

PSG usually enjoy a comfortable perch at the top of Ligue 1, with talents like Cavani, Draxler and Thiago Silva, it was increasingly harder to see past them. But as Monaco and their enviable youth system have recently smashed PSG’s dominance, French football needs a reminder of Lille and what their team could have accomplished.

Finishing 11th this year and not looking like climbing back up Ligue 1, Lille have fallen a way since their league and cup success – they finished 3rd in both 2012 and 2014 but since have been a long way off the pace.

The players they have produced, however, if kept, would have told a different, and almost cinderella like, story.

The academy and scouts at Lille have brought through some major talents. Some, Like Hazard and Dante, have proven themselves in the biggest leagues in European football as well as on the international stage. Others like Digne and Boufal have shown exceptional talent and look like going on to achieve big things.

If they had all stayed at Lille, undoubtedly they would have faced Monaco and PSG as equals in Ligue 1.

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