Scouting Report : Sinaly Diomande
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Olympique Lyonnais is not going through his better form at the moment. The historical French club has been struggling in his game during the last two seasons, after transferring important players such as Aouar, Barcola, Lukeba etc. and trying to rebuild his squad. One of the players who has given a step forward with great output leading the defensive line is Sinaly Diomande.

Diomande, born on 09/04/2001 in Ivory Coast is a product of Guidars FC, and was transferred to Olympique Lyonnais in the 2019/2020 season, when he was already 18 years old, a surprisingly late transfer for such a promising youngster. He had an incredible impact in the B squad during his very first season, earning his place in the first squad, where he started to be introduced in the 2020/21 season. Since then Diomande has established himself as a starting and important player in the defense of Olympique Lyonnais, seizing his opportunities and unlocking high defensive potential.

The Ivorian player performs as a defender, starting mainly in the right center back role, but is versatile and can adapt to playing on the left side or even as a right back in a 4-man defensive line. He stands out for being an athletic beast, solid and composed defender.

At just 24 years old, Diomande is one of the mainstays in the renewed Olympique Lyonnais, providing defensive solidity, aggressiveness and intensity despite sometimes leading in fouls. His characteristics make him a difficult defender to surpass, being fast in open spaces, harassing when facing his man and tough on the ball and tackling. In duels, his corpulence is determinant, making great use of his body and an active use of arms leading in a great amount of possessions regained for his side. He possesses elevated game understanding, having great anticipation. In fact, it is usual to see him making coverages to right backs when being surpassed, ending the play with huge determination and clarity. That aspect of mates' coverages sometimes is perjudicial for his team. He often tends to focus only on the ball, which leads to losing position and awareness/marks of his rivals. His size helps him be aerially dominant, having one of the best registers in Ligue 1. Even facing rocky and big size forwards, he imposes himself in aerial game, being a key player in defensive issues but also in offensive set pieces.

On the ball, Diomande is not the most technical player, but his levels are quite good, feeling comfortable with the ball on his feet. He is calm on the ball, trying to find the best alternative and does not hesitate when feeling under pressure. Starting from his own area, he is one of the main players to initiate the play having good vision, with a clear tendency to progress forward, not only playing security lateral passes. Short-medium distance passes predomine on his game, trying and achieving to find midfielders between lines, but he also possesses accurate long-range passing, finding Olympique´s fast front line attacking to the back of rival defensive lines. If the rivals press high, he shows great personality on the ball by breaking lines with powerful carries. His ball protection is really good, being difficult to dispossess and if things get heated, his strength is key to keep the ball by his side. That physical strength by times plays against him, as he over trusts his capacities in many situations, going to the ball extremely relaxed. He does not have a huge contribution in the attacking third, as he does not have the quality and creativity to help in the last metters, but he offers safe passing lines to recycle the possession and restart the attacking play, having great and coherent criteria.

Despite not livingits best moment, Olympique Lyonnais has found a bright diamond in its defensive line. Being a solid defender, fearless and able to play the ball, Diomande reminds of many important center backs who are actually performing at the highest level, being for sure in the radar of top clubs towards the future.

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