After a long time out, we’ve got another entry in this series, this time looking at a player that was a big “what if”: someone who had the potential but just wasn’t able to reach those heights.
Corentin Tolisso arrived from Lyon to Bayern Munich with a lot of promise in a then record transfer in 2017, with many people seeing him as the one to fill in for Xabi Alonso who had just retired the season before. The Frenchman wasn’t the only midfield signing at the start of the 2017/18 season, with Sebastian Rudy from Hoffenheim and James Rodriguez from Real Madrid on a two-year loan joining him.
Tolisso played a decent number of games in his first season in Bavaria, playing 26 and starting in 17 of them. However, a clash of shins with then-Bayer Leverkusen forward Kevin Volland at the start of the 2018/19 season was the start of Tolisso’s terrible run with injuries.
The highly talented midfielder was unable to showcase the full force of his abilities, out for the rest of 2018/19 and playing less than 16 games in each of his last three seasons with the Rekordmeister. The presence of Thiago Alcantara (now at Liverpool), Joshua Kimmich’s shift to the midfield, and the arrival of Leon Goretzka meant Tolisso was way down the pecking order. Flashes of brilliance here and there were too little too late as he did not renew with Bayern, instead returning to Lyon on a free.
In Tolisso’s time at Bayern and in all competitions, he clocked 11 goals and seven assists in 72 games played. Back home at Lyon this season, he has featured in 10 (seven starts, three substitute appearances) of Lyon’s 15 games so far which were four wins, four losses, and two draws in a total 538 minutes of game time. He has not registered a goal or an assist so far.
Unfortunately, Tolisso was not selected for France’s 2022 World Cup squad.