FC Lorient has been an average Ligue 1 side throughout the years. They recently had to go through a three-year-long spell in the 2nd tier of French football, but during the unfinished campaign of 2019/2020, Les Merlus were crowned as Ligue 2 winners.
Players like Laurent Koscielny, Kevin Gameiro, Karim Ziani, Bakari Koné, Matteo Guendouzi, Seydou Keita, and much more have all been a part of Lorient's structures. The Bretagne frequently supplies elite clubs with young prospects, which later develop into stars.
FC Lorient Transfers
Laurent Koscielny from Tours FC for £1.5 Million in 2009 – Lorient bought Koscielny at the right time- just before his price spiked. And it wasn't undeserved. His only season with Les Merlus was his first-ever top-flight season, during which he proved he's capable of playing at the highest level. The defender was spotted by his compatriot Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and was bought the following year in 2010. The sum agreed upon was £12.5 Million, which Lorient happily accepted. Koscielny ended up becoming an Arsenal legend, making over 250 appearances.
Matteo Guendouzi from PSG U17 on a free transfer in 2014 – Another Arsenal player features in our list. Playing for over ten years in PSG and Lorient's academies, Matteo Guendouzi made his debut for The Bretagne's senior squad in 2016. Despite being relegated and playing in Ligue 2 the following season, Guendouzi did enough to earn his move to the Premier League, with the Gunnars paying £8 Million for his services. Since then, his estimated market value has peaked at £50 Million while being just 20-years-old.
Didier Ndong from CS Sfaxien for £950,000 in 2015 – Ndong's career started in his homeland – Gabon with the club Centre Mbérie. He then moved on to the Tunisian team CS Sfaxien before being scouted by the French side. He arrived in Brittany in January 2015 and played a season and a half for Lorient before setting the club's record transfer in 2016 when Sunderland bought him. With the £20 Million fees that the Premier League agreed to pay, not only was Ndong, the most expensive player that Lorient has ever sold but also the priciest one that Sunderland has bought.
Jordan Ayew from Marseille for £4 Million in 2014 – Yet another Lorient player who ended up playing in the Premier League. Ayew – a product of Marseille's academy, spent five years with the club's senior squad. He completed a short loan move to FC Sochaux before being bought by Lorient. Upon his arrival, he exclaimed that the squad's style and level of play are what brought him to the club. However, he didn't last long with Les Merlus as Aston Villa bought him for £12 Million in 2015. Although his stay at Villa Park was a bit unfortunate, he later wore Swansea and Crystal Palace's kits and is currently a prominent figure in the latter team's lineup. It's important to point out that his campaign with Lorient has been the most productive in his career resulting in 13 goals.