Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar has denied that being linked with Arsenal in the summer has affected him.
Aouar was a major target for the Gunners in the summer transfer window, as they looked to strengthen their midfield. They signed Thomas Partey to do that, but were in the market for another target.
Indeed, they let two midfielders leave (Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira), so could have utilised an extra addition. However, their pursuit of Partey went down to the wire, and they could not complete a deal for Aouar.
The French midfielder has since suffered a dip in fortunes. He even faced punishment from Lyon for refusing to train recently due to the condition of the pitch.
However, Aouar insists he is still happy at his hometown club, denying claims to the contrary.
He told RMC Sport (via Get French Football News): “I do not see how I could be unhappy in my city, in my club. That is something that I do not understand (rumours that he is unhappy at Lyon).
“I am very happy to be here, I took the decision to stay with the club that formed me, I savour every day I have here. Everything that I want, is to put this club back in its rightful place with my team-mates.
“I am very happy to be here, we have an enormous amount of ambitions for this season.”
Lyon are currently third in Ligue 1, having won half of their opening 12 games. They are currently on a nine-game unbeaten run.
Their hopes of maintaining, or even improving on, such form will likely depend on Aouar getting back to his best.
However, he insists he has always been fully concentrating on Lyon, despite the likes of Arsenal coming in for him.
He added: “That is part of a footballer’s life, I am very well surrounded, the club and the coach have spoken with me a lot, it was quite a normal period.
“I dealt with it well and as I said, I am very happy to have stayed.”
Aouar charms Lyon president Aulas
While Aouar may have come to a disagreement with Lyon recently over the training incident, it seems he is now trying to prove his commitment once again.
The 22-year-old also went on to praise club president Jean-Michel Aulas, whom he described as one of the best around.
Aouar said of Aulas: “Certainly, everyone knows it, we have one of the best presidents, I am very happy to play for his club.
“He brings an enormous amount on a daily basis, it is a joy to be able to play under his orders.”