Christiane Endler, Danielle van de Donk: Can Lyon return to the top after summer of star signings?


Lyon don’t do failure. From 2006-2020 the team won 14 consecutive league titles and claimed seven Champions League wins in that time as well.

In 2021, however, this era of irrepressible dominance finally burst, and the French giants aren’t happy about it.

What’s the best way to wrestle the initiative back from your Parisian rivals? Steal their goalkeeper –– who also happens to be the best in world football.

If that’s not enough, you can also pinch one of their young, talented forwards. And, if that’s still not enough –– you can sign one of the all-time great Dutch internationals.

This is exactly what Lyon have done and on this evidence, their summer spending is almost certainly not over.

Are these signings enough to dethrone PSG and mount another successful European challenge though?

With this in mind, here’s a look at each of the three names Lyon have brought in and how they can help Sonia Bompastor’s side return to the top:


Christiane Endler

The Chilean goalkeeper was described by Emma Hayes as the best goalkeeper in the world last year and based on statistics alone, it’s easy to see why.

Endler conceded just four goals in 22 league games last season and was named in the Fifpro Women’s World XI in 2020.

Still just 29-years-old, the former Chelsea keeper has signed a deal that will keep her at Lyon until 2024.

Her arrival likely signals the end of the road for veteran keeper Sarah Bouhaddi. The French keeper has made 273 appearances for Lyon but has moved to the Washington based team OL Reign.

The decision to bring in Endler is perhaps a sign that Bompastor has lost faith in the old guard and wants to rebuild.


Signe Bruun

The other arrival from PSG is 23-year-old Signe Bruun. The forward scored 10 goals in 31 league games for the Parisian side last season and is more than capable of playing in midfield as well.

The Danish international’s versatility could prove to be a key asset for Lyon, and her goal-scoring ability is much needed given how much the team have struggled in the absence of Ada Hegerberg.

The young forward seems unlikely to be a starter on paper but is an astute signing nonetheless.


Daniëlle van de Donk

Van de Donk joins on a free transfer after six seasons at Arsenal.

The Dutch star inspired the Gunners to a WSL title in 2019 and also won the FA Cup and League Cup during her time at the club.

With a proven ability to score goals and manufacture chances, Lyon have signed a world-class player for no money at all.

The only question is not whether the 29-year-old will be a success in France, but if Arsenal will live to regret letting her leave.


Have Lyon got enough to immediately bounce back from their lacklustre campaign then?

All three signings appear as though they could make a difference and add something different to Bompastor’s squad.

The key to their success, though, will likely come down to the fitness of senior personnel. Will Hegerberg be able to hit the ground running upon her return, or will the French side have to rely on others stepping up to the mark?

For the moment it seems that, while they are looking to improve their squad as much as possible and build for the future –– the principal aim is not necessarily just to improve their team, but to make their rivals worse.

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