Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim has praised the impact of the January signings who have helped lift the club out of the Ligue 1 relegation zone.
Eight new players were brought in during the transfer window, four of which were loan recruits signed by Jardim following his re-appointment on January 25 after Thierry Henry had been sacked.
They included Adrien Silva from Leicester, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou from Tottenham, Napoli’s Carlos Vinicius, and in particular, Gelson Martins from Atletico Madrid, who has scored in his last two appearances.
Overall, the quartet, along with the likes of former Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas and defender Fode Toure, have all played their part in lifting Monaco out of the relegation zone with two wins and a draw from the last three games.
Ahead of Sunday’s visit of third-placed Lyon to the Stade Louis II, Jardim said: “The club has done a great job with the new recruits who have brought more balance to our squad.”
Jardim notably acclaimed the impact of fellow Portuguese Martins, via the club’s website adding: “He brings a good offensive dynamic.
“He’s fast, technical with the ball, someone who always works hard to succeed. He has the opportunity (with Monaco) to show all his talent.”
Silva, who completed a move from Sporting Lisbon to Leicester on January 1 last year for £22million – four months after it should have gone through but for Leicester missing the registration deadline at the end of August 2017 by 14 seconds – has also hailed Martins’ influence.
Silva said: “Gelson is a player accustomed to playing in major European competitions, on great stages.
“I’m happy to play with him, and the opposing defences will also get to know him. He is very fast, strong one against one. He brings a lot offensively. ”
Despite Monaco’s improvement, the club face a Lyon side who have suffered just one defeat in their last 10 matches in all competitions, with their last result being a goalless draw at home to Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Silva added: “We are going to meet an opponent who has had very good results in the Champions League.
“But they will have used energy against Barcelona, and we can cause them problems. We have a game plan and we will see what happens on Sunday.”
Jardim will be without five players through injury in William Vainqueur, Stevan Jovetic, Jordi M’Boula, Pietro Pellegri (all calf), while Nkoudou has a hamstring problem.
Lyon at least have captain and top scorer Nabil Fekir back in their side after the 11-goal striker missed the game with Barcelona through suspension.