Since breaking into the Gones first squad at the age of 16 in 2020, the 20-year-old has been viewed as a future Ballon d’Or contender.
Cherki has already made 112 appearances for Lyon, scoring 14 goals and assisting on 17 others, including four goals and six assists in 34 Ligue 1 games this season.
The playmaker also has 11 goals and six assists from 18 appearances for France’s Under-21s, although he has underperformed in the first 11 games of the 2023-24 season with Lyon, who are still without a win.
Cherki scored his first goal of the season on Sunday, coming off the bench to set up Skelly Alvero’s equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Metz after missing the team’s postponed match against Marseille.
Fabio Grosso, the newly hired Lyon manager, earlier informed the media that Cherki was not a “special player” when asked about the youngster’s game time, saying: “I was aware of Rayan Cherki before his performance in the Espoirs match.” He has tremendous potential, and everyone hopes he can turn that potential into consistent performance.
“Is he a unique player?” He’s a player, but not a remarkable one. He’s a player like any other, but with some unique characteristics. However, it is not only technical abilities that are important; mental and athletic abilities are also important. He has incredible technical talents, but he needs to work on the others.
“His fate is in his own hands.” He has been endowed with extraordinary abilities, yet he can improve. As previously stated, he is one of those players who must develop in order to reach his full potential. Finally, we make the best decisions for the team.”
Nonetheless, Football Insider believes that both Manchester United and Newcastle are keeping a close eye on Cherki and may compete for his signature next year, having long liked him.
Cherki signed a new contract with Lyon in April, although the 2003-born Frenchman is only under contract with the Ligue 1 strugglers until the summer of 2025, raising the prospect of an impending departure.
Cherki is said to have the talent and attributes to become a “star in the making” by the Red Devils and Magpies, and the France Under-21 international was also projected to join the young Chelsea revolution over the summer.
The Blues, however, did not make a bid for the Lyon player, supposedly withdrawing their interest due to attitude concerns, instead striking a deal for ex-Manchester City player Cole Palmer.
Man United set to lose two wingers in 2024, as Jadon Sancho’s time at Old Trafford appears to be over due to his ongoing rivalry with Erik ten Hag, and Omari Forson’s contract expires next year, with the Red Devils yet to reach an agreement with the 19-year-old.
Meanwhile, Newcastle attacker Harvey Barnes is recovering from a serious foot injury, but due to Sandro Tonali’s 10-month betting suspension, the Magpies are anticipated to prioritize midfield signings in January.