Malo Gusto is an energetic right-back who came through the youth team ranks at Lyon’s academy and broke into the first team squad in early 2021, aged just seventeen. His debut came as a late substitute in an emphatic 5-0 derby win away at arch-rivals Saint-Etienne under manager Rudi Garcia.
He was to make one more brief substitute appearance in that 2020-21 season under Garcia before Peter Bosz arrived at the club in the summer and placed his confidence in the youngster, giving him his first start in the opening game of the next season, a 1-1 draw against Brest. Plenty more playing time was to follow, as Malo Gusto quickly established himself as a regular in the team.
The departure of France international right-back Leo Dubois in the summer of 2022 showed the confidence that the club now has in Malo Gusto’s ability to make the position his own for the foreseeable future despite his tender years. He’s now the undisputed first choice right-back at the club and is rated as one of the top young talents in French football.
He has already become a key member of the France Under-21 team, having represented his country at various age groups since Under-16 level, and a full international call-up may not be far away if he continues to progress at the current rate.
Malo Gusto is very much a local boy, having been born in the Lyon suburb of Décines-Charpieu, where the club chose to build their new home, the Groupama Stadium, in the early 2010’s. He joined the famed Olympique Lyonnais academy at Under-14 level and has been with the club ever since.
In his early performances Malo Gusto immediately caught the eye for his high work rate down the right flank. What he lacked in experience, he more than made up for in energy and enthusiasm. He’s full of running and capable of contributing at both ends of the park with repeated lung-busting forays up and down the touchline.
As he matures, his game will doubtless become a bit more refined. He’s still raw, and has room for improvement defensively and positionally, but he can only benefit from the playing time he’s being granted at such a young age.
Experiences such as the controversial penalty that Neymar conned out of the referee in a PSG-OL clash at the Parc de Princes in September 2021, when the devious Brazilian appeared to wrestle Malo Gusto to the ground, should prove highly formative and help him develop the nous he needs to cope with such situations in the future.