According to recent media speculation, French club Lille are seriously considering asking Manchester City for a season-long extension to Marcos Lopes’ loan deal. Lopes is currently on a season-long loan from Manchester City. The Portuguese attacking midfielder has been in impressive form lately, most notably scoring the winner over current league-leaders Lyon last weekend. Reports indicate, however, that Manchester City are keen to extend the young midfielder’s contract before agreeing to any kind of extension. His current deal runs out in 2016.
Lopes stormed onto the scene two seasons ago at Manchester City when he scored the team’s final goal in a 3-0 victory. At barely 17 years of age, Marcos Lopes’ goal made him Manchester City’s youngest-ever goalscorer in a competitive match. That goal increased his visibility, not only in England, but also in Portugal, where he holds citizenship. Soon after, he established himself as a regular for the Portugal U-19 team, helping Portugal qualify for the 2013 U-19 Euro. At the U-19 Euro, Lopes appeared in all three group stage matches. The following season, Lopes was named captain of Manchester City’s Development Squad (U19 team). In addition, Lopes also appeared in a handful of cup matches with Manchester City’s first team, where he performed well.
Fast-forward to this season, and Manchester City announced that Lopes would join Lille on loan until the end of the season. This was following speculation about his future, with a whole host of clubs said to be pursuing a loan; a clear indication of how high his stock had grown. At Lille, Lopes began the season as a starter, and quickly adapted to Ligue 1. Though he didn’t take the league by storm by any account, Lopes’ performances matured with time, and right when he was beginning to find his swagger, injury struck. The injury to his thigh ruled him out until the new year, and since his recovery, Lopes has hit the ground running. His finest performance came against league-leaders Lyon last weekend, when the team came from behind to claim a priceless 2-1 victory. Lopes assisted the first and scored the second.
Fans of Lille claim that the team is much different with Marcos Lopes in the starting 11. Some have even gone as far to say that Lille are toothless without him. This is certainly good news for fans of the Seleccao, because if Lopes can continue to play well in a competitive league, it can do nothing to hurt his development. It still remains unclear where Lopes will be next season, but his future looks bright nevertheless.
For a more in-depth look into Marcos Lopes’ career, check out Mitchell Rua’s Player To Watch article.