Arsenal are heavily interested in signing a striker this summer, that is evidently clear.
One name has cropped up in recent weeks more than any other – Alexandre Lacazette.
Little over a year ago, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulus confirmed that a bid of £35- £42m would be enough to bring the 25-year-old to the club and now, the higher end of that claim still remains true.
The Lyon centre forward is being valued by Lyon at no less than £42m – while it’s reported that the Gunners are baulking at the price tag, having offered £34m, is the £8m difference really worth missing out on the potential honours, success and legacy that Arsene Wenger could sign out with?
Why would Arsenal pay close to the reported £65m that Real Madrid are asking for the services of Alvaro Morata, when they could pay over £20m less and sign someone who guarantees goals.
Here are just some of the reasons why Arsenal must go for broke on Lacazette.
The French centre forward is one of the most consistent footballers around.
Since settling into his senior role at Lyon, Lacazette has become the man to lead the line for the club. In the past two seasons, he has scored no fewer than 50 goals for his side.
Towards the back end of last season, he scored 12 goals in the Ligue 1 side’s final thirteen games and did not go without a goal for more than one month – while Olivier Giroud spent three consecutive months without scoring a goal, a period that had he had his shooting boots on, could have been the difference between first and eventually finishing second, 10 points behind winners Leicester City.
Arsenal are no longer in a position where they can afford to rely on just Giroud, Danny Welbeck will spend a chunk of the new season on the sidelines with yet another injury, leaving just Theo Walcott and Chuba Akpom – the latter likely to be sent out on another loan, as senior striking options.
Giroud is a fantastic striker and is proving himself to be useful for France at Euro 2016 but without the goals of Antoine Griezmann, they could perhaps be looking at yet another ‘nearly’ campaign.
Versatility and adaptability
Lacazette offers a completely different option to Giroud, he is lightning quick and good with the ball at his feet, instead of the focus being on slowly building play up and playing it out wide for a cross to come in, the Gunners will be able to have more options in attack, they can carry the ball forward and rely on Mesut Ozil, Granit Xhaka and others to find the Frenchman in between and behind the defensive and midfield lines.
Perhaps one of the most pivotal factors in deciding whether or not to sign Lacazette is that he doesn’t need to be an alternative to Giroud, he can play alongside him.
Arguably Giroud’s best quality is his ability to bring his teammates into play, he doesn’t care who scores the goal as long as he can help in the fight of putting the ball into the back of the net. Lacazette is goal hungry, he lives and dies by finishing chances and the stark contrast of the two players could prove to be golden.
“He [Giroud] is a target man who likes to flick the ball on and lay it off for others.
“We saw the way he put me in on goal with his header against Ireland.
“He put me in the best possible position and I tried to finish it as well as I could.”
The best strikers around have arrogance.
Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo are all killers in front of goal. They know that they can twist defenders inside out and that when they’re on the pitch, no one is better than them at scoring goals.
Lacazette is of that exact same mould.
After having arguably the best season of his career in 2014, he expected a better contract from Lyon and when he wasn’t awarded it, he kicked up a fuss until he got what he felt he deserved.
“I was expecting something [in 2014].
“I’d just had my best season – I’d really helped the team to get back into the Champions League. He [Aulas] had told me that it was too much after just one full season but that if I backed it up, we could discuss on that basis.”
He did back it up and he did get that new contract.
Lacazette has all of the ingredients required to lead the line for a Premier League side and he’s a signing that needs to be completed. Now.
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