Hot Stove: Red Bulls linked to Sidney Govou


New York Red Bull Director of Global Football Gerard Houllier has a soft spot for former Lyon players, so it should be no shock when the rumor mill connects one to a jump Stateside.

With Lyon legend Juninho and Peguy Luyindula making their way to Harrison, is it unreasonable to believe former French international Sidney Govou could follow?

According to Parisian publication Le Progres, New York have their eyes set on the veteran midfielder. Govou, 34, was a vital part of Lyon for over a decade, helping the club towards seven Ligue 1 titles. After a stint in Greece with Panathinaikos, he returned to Ligue 1 play with Evian before joining Lyon once again — this time, on an amateur contract with their reserve team.

Now, Govou looks to be on the move for the fourth time in three years. According to Progres, the former French star has been “given until the end of January to find a club.” Beside reported Red Bull interest, the only other party competing for Govou’s services – Chasselay – are yet another French amateur side.

What can the French veteran bring to New York? For starters, an experienced option at the right midfield slot. Since trading Dane Richards to the Whitecaps two years ago, the Red Bulls have not been able to find someone to fill his shoes. Eric Alexander performed well last season in his stead, but was hardly a game changer in an unnatural wing slot.

That isn’t to say Govou would fair much better. He has lost most of his once-infamous breakthrough speed and, many would argue, his competitive drive. The midfielder has suffered a noticeable dip in form since leaving Lyon, scoring all of two professional goals since his departure some three years ago.

Health is also a concern. Govou ruptured his patella March of last season, unable to see the field until September of that same year. He also ruptured his achilles twice in two years, missing four months of action in 2009 and five months in 2012. He will be 35 this July.

Were New York to sign Govou, he would be the only natural right-sided midfielder on the roster and would likely come at a bargain price. However, considering his age and recent form, it would be a risk to depend on him as a starter.

  • Larry

    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t Sam a natural right-sided midfielder as well?

  • Fritz

    I would say Llyod Sam is a natural right winger, no? I also think he should start, he’s the best fit.

  • Tony

    Read this guy is a constant problem health wise and behavior. What is this team trying to do?

  • Tony

    People are right Sam should be a starter! I’d like to see Alexander pushed to central midfield with Dax and cahill pushed up! No need to keep Alexander on the bench when Sam starts. Alexander and Dax can generate play they just need more confidence. At a minimum they are a solid defensive midfield options!

  • omarvelous

    Sam is a right winger but Petke wants box to box midfield player with the wing play coming from either of the two fullbacks. That’s why MIller or Kimura and Carney and Barklage would push up so often. Either way With his constant injuries in the last few years this isn’t even a depth signing. Plus his age.. I can understand the signing of Lozano even if he played in Liga Adelante. Spanish players are techincal and skilled on the ball something NYRB doesn’t have a lot of. Plus he’s younger and is more of depth signing than a 34 year old oft injured winger. plus a winger without speed? then what’s the point?