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Grounded: He still lives with his mum - meet Lyon NxGn starlet Houssem Aouar

9:00 PM MYT 24/05/2018
Houssam Aouar Lyon
The teenager is the latest in a long line to emerge at the club and has already attracted interest from the likes of Barcelona and Liverpool

From Alexandre Lacazette, Karim Benzema and Anthony Martial to Samuel Umtiti, Hatem Ben Arfa and Corentin Tolisso, Lyon's remarkable recent history of producing young talent is showing no signs of slowing.

And in Houssem Aouar, they look to have unearthed yet another gem.

The Ligue 1 side’s first-team is now littered with a host of young superstars already looking likely to set the footballing world alight. 

Sought-after Frenchman Nabil Fekir stars alongside Mariano, Maxwell Cornet, Tanguy Ndombele and Lucas Tousart - with all five under the age of 25 - but it’s 19-year-old Aouar who is the talk of the town.

But the versatile youngster from the Lyon suburbs certainly isn't getting ahead of himself, admitting he still “lives with his mum” to help him remain grounded. 

He’s enjoyed a breakthrough season, helping Lyon compete domestically and in Europe, drawing comparisons with the diminutive Philippe Coutinho. 

And watching him play, you can see why. A workhorse middle-man who can also drift out wide and cut in, Aouar says he’ll “adapt to anything” on the pitch. 

He certainly has, already showing development as a deep-lying playmaker, with his all-round game hacing come on leaps and bounds. He regards Lyon icon Juninho as a role model, along with fellow Algerian-descendant Zinedine Zidane - and it shows in his game. 

Having played 44 games across all competitions this season, his return of seven goals and six assists from the middle of the park is impressive. 

You’re also unlikely to see him giving the ball away, having completed 85.7% of all his passes in Ligue 1 this season, despite the fact he played more minutes than 18 members of the Lyon first-team. 

At just 19, it was thought his opportunities were going to be limited, but after letting the likes of Tolisso, Maxime Gonalons and Rachid Ghezzal left last summer, Aouar has taken his chance in impressive fashion.

He opened his Lyon account last term, netting the sixth in the 7-1 Europa League demolition of Dutch side AZ just one week after making his debut, coolly slotting it through the keeper’s legs from an acute angle inside the box.

His maiden Ligue 1 goal came in September, arriving late into the Dijon box to finish smartly in the epic 3-3 draw. And his emergence hasn't gone unnoticed, with Barcelona and Liverpool said to be circling; “I hear the rumours, like you. I have ears,” Aouar admits. 

But Lyon is arguably the best place for a blossoming youngster to bloom into a genuine world beater - and that’s what he can become given time. 

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