Pierre Sage applauds Rayan Cherki’s ‘patience’ after surprising Coupe de France omission

Olympique Lyonnais manager Pierre Sage has provided an update on Rayan Cherki (20) after the forward was expected to start in their Coupe de France quarter-final against RC Strasbourg Alsace. 

Yet, as has often been the case in recent weeks for Cherki, the mercurial forward was left on the bench by his manager until late in the game, making his appearance in the 77th minute. The forward played his part in the remaining minutes and was involved in the penalty shootout as Lyon progressed to the semi-finals of the cup. 

Sage had previously suggested that the Coupe de France would be a tournament that Cherki could rely on to find some form and some needed game time, “he’s a player who we can count on in this competition. He performed well in the previous round, but since then he has played a little less… He’s a young player, things are happening for him at the moment. I’m waiting for him to digest that.” 

‘It’s his patience today which is his strength’ – Pierre Sage

Cherki has been a victim of a frontline that was bolstered during a January where Lyon became the biggest spenders in Europe as part of an effort to steer themselves clear of a relegation battle that they had looked destined to become part of during the first half of the season. 

The addition of Saïd Benrahma (28) and Malick Fofana (18) as well as the gradual improvement of Ernest Nuamah (20) have left Cherki an increasingly peripheral figure for Sage’s attack. 

However, during his post-match comments, Sage looked to commend the forward’s mentality in recent weeks despite not yet being ready to start for Lyon, “we’re patient with him and will not give up because he’s a kid from the club…  it’s his patience today which is his strength and we’re waiting for his performances to stabilise and allow him to have more playing time.” 

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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