Lucas Tousart has crossed the Berlin divide by swapping Hertha for Union, but who exactly is the French midfielder patrolling the midfields in Germany's capital?
bundesliga.com introduces you to the former Lyon man and European U19 champion...
Statistics correct as of 19 July 2023
Age: 26 (born 29 April 1997)
Club: Union Berlin
Position: Central midfielder
Country: France (24 U21 caps)
Tousart was on the books of Lyon from August 2015 to January 2020 as he emerged as a major talent, but actually made his professional debut in the colours of Valenciennes during the second half of 2014/15. The 6'0" right-footer made 18 starts in Ligue 2 that season. In his early days at Lyon, the Arras native donned the captain's armband in a couple of UEFA Youth League games en route to the competition's round of 16, before earning a handful of senior league, cup and European appearances. After helping France lift the UEFA Euro U19s title in summer 2016, he locked down regular first-team status at club level, scoring his maiden goal in the early rounds of the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League. Les Gones reached the semi-finals that year, losing out to Ajax. In over 150 competitive outings for Lyon, the tenacious France U21 international registered five goals and six assists.
Tousart was announced as a Hertha signing to great fanfare in January 2020 but was loaned back to Lyon for the remainder of the 2020/21 season. He managed to give the Lyon fans one particularly fond farewell memory in that spell - netting a volley as the French side beat Juventus 1-0 in the first leg of a UEFA Champions League last 16 tie.
The Frenchman immediately became a favourite among the Hertha faithful when he began to play at the Olympiastadion. He made 26 appearances in 2020/21 and another 30 in 2021/22, providing much-needed steel from defensive midfield as the Berlin side successfully secured Bundesliga survival on both occasions. Despite a contribution of five goals and three assists in the following campaign as he gained increasing attacking responsibility, and occasionally wore the captain's armband, his efforts were not enough to prevent relegation at the end of the 2022/23 season - and Tousart was snapped up by local rivals Union.
Plays a bit like: Emre Can
Just like the Borussia Dortmund and former Liverpool defensive midfielder, Tousart's willingness to get stuck in is what fans and teammates appreciate most - but the Frenchman also has all the technical attributes of a modern midfielder in terms of passing and fitness to match his impressive determination.
Did you know?
Tousart is not the first former Hertha player to end up playing for city rivals Union. Chinedu Ede, Robert Andrich and Genki Haraguchi are examples of figures who became popular among the passionate fans of Die Eisernen after previous spells in blue and white.
What they're saying
"Lucas is a seasoned player with a lot of experience, both nationally and internationally. A player of his quality is an asset to any team. We are pleased that we were able to convince him to join us." - Union Berlin sporting director Oliver Ruhnert
"Lucas has always sacrificed everything for the shirt and given his all for the club, the team and the fans. This is one of the reasons that we agreed to his wish for a move, and we would like to wish him all the best." - Hertha sporting director Benjamin Weber
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