Mathis Rayan Cherki, better known simply as Rayan Cherki, is a professional French footballer born on August 17th, 2003 in Lyon. The youngster plays as an attacking midfielder for Lyon and he is probably one of the most talented French players of his generation.
Cherki briefly played for a small local club Saint-Priest before he joined one of the most decorated French clubs, Olympique Lyon, in 2010. Ever since then, he spent his time at the club, moving from youth ranks to the senior team in 2019.
He made his first-team debut that same year but he only appeared in 6 games for Lyon that season. He was also sent to Lyon II to get some experience in the lower French leagues. Cherki is still only 17 years old and he is still receiving modest playing time at Lyon in the current season. However, he became the youngest Lyon scorer in history in January of 2020 when he scored a goal for the team in the Coupe de France.
Although both of Cherki’s parents are Algerians, he also has a bit of Italian descent through his father. In any case, Rayan has played for French youth squads and it seems likely that he will play for the French national team in the future. However, he could still decide to play for Algeria since he is yet to make his first-team debut for France. Until that happens, his decision on which country he will represent is up in the air.
Rayan Cherki Transfers and Rumours
- 2010: Saint-Priest to Olympique Lyon – Free Transfer
Although he is only 17 years old and still hasn’t made a real impact in the first team at Lyon, Cherki is already one of the most interesting young players on the market. His current transfer value is around £20 million and it is bound to go even higher in the upcoming years, especially when he starts to receive more consistent playing time.
With that in mind, it is not a surprise to learn that some of the biggest European clubs are interested in his services. Although he has a contract with Lyon until 2023, there is constant gossip regarding his future. In the past year, Cherki has been connected with Manchester United and Real Madrid, among other clubs that would also like to see the youngster in their jersey.
At the moment, Cherki seems set to stay in Lyon and develop further. His playing time might not be great but he is gaining precious experience nonetheless. For example, he was subbed in during the Champions League semifinal against Bayern Munich, which made him the youngest player to appear at that stage of the most prestigious European competition.
And while it may seem unlikely that we will hear any real transfer news about Cherki anytime soon, things can change quickly in football. A massive bid from one of the richest clubs in Europe may be enough to prize the wunderkind away from Lyon. Until that happens, we can only follow rumours and speculation regarding his next career destination.