Ligue 1 news

Pjanic: I've never considered Lyon exit

March 17, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Lyon midfielder Miralem Pjanic has denied ever wanting to leave the club, despite struggling to curry favour with Les Gones boss Claude Puel this season.

Miralem Pjanic Lyon
GettyImagesAfter a hugely impressive 2009-10 campaign, Miralem Pjanic struggled

• Puel calls for focus

Pjanic, 20, has long been tipped to be one of the stars of Ligue 1 and has received plenty of plaudits over the past few seasons since moving to Stade Gerland in 2008 following a stunning debut campaign with Metz.

But after a fantastic 2009-10 campaign - in which he started 27 league games and nine in Europe as Lyon reached the Champions League semi-finals - Pjanic has drifted in and out of the team this season.

The Bosnian starlet admits he has been frustrated, having started more games from the substitutes' bench than on the pitch, but insists that leaving Lyon for pastures new has never entered his thinking.

"Have I ever thought about leaving Lyon? Never," Pjanic told L'Equipe. "It has never crossed my mind. I am 20 years old and I am under contract at Lyon for a long time.

"I want to leave my mark on the club. When I wasn't playing I was disappointed and sad, but I never wanted to leave."

Pjanic, who is contracted to Lyon until 2013, has started just 14 games this season and been introduced from the bench 16 times. He played the final 11 minutes of OL's Champions League second leg defeat to Real Madrid on Wednesday.