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Lille’s José Fonte: “If I was the one recruiting players, I would remember the DNA of the team – not conceding.”

In an interview with L’Équipe, Lille’s José Fonte (37) assessed the current Lille squad and explained that competing with other major Ligue 1 clubs in the transfer market was tough.

You recently told France Bleu Nord that your squad was a bit thin?
“I like Amadou [Onana], Ivo [Grbić] and Gaby [Gudmundsson], they’re young players who work hard, help us and have good personalities. Now, when you look at teams like Nice, Rennes, Marseille or Lyon, they’ve found players of quality and experience on another level. Unfortunately, we don’t have the chance, perhaps for financial reasons, to bring in players like that. I’m happy with my team, almost all of the players from last season have stayed… We can’t pay as much as the other big French clubs but I hope we can increase our level.”

What is the typical profile of a Lille signing?
“If I was the one recruiting players, I would remember the DNA of the team – not conceding goals. We, therefore, need generous players with team spirit. Like at Sevilla [in the Champions League], we got off to a bad start because we’d forgotten that. If we are compact, we are very hard to beat.”

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