It’s taken some time for this European summer transfer window to really kick off, but the first blockbuster signing has been made and it’s Arsenal who have pulled the trigger on it. Alexandre Lacazette’s signing has marked the club’s record transfer, coming in at somewhere in the region of £47m – and has also continued the club’s tradition of enlisting the services of gifted French forwards. Joining the likes of Sylvain Wiltord, Robert Pires, and of course the Highbury legend that is Thierry Henry, the addition of Lacazette will bolster Arsenal’s frontline tremendously.
Olivier Giroud has had an inconsistent level of popularity with the Arsenal support, while he’s capable of the sublime from time to time his goal return isn’t all that impressive. Considering Arsenal’s demotion to the Europa League the club and its board will likely try and secure a return to Europe’s premier competition, the Champions League, and there are few better options available than Lacazette to help them do it and will likely cost Giroud his starting place.
Having plied his trade in his home country with Lyon since 2010 Lacazette has shown remarkable consistency and development over the last four years, and has scored 129 goals in his time with Lyon, 100 of which are league goals coming in only a shade over 200 appearances. His best attributes are his speed and his instinctive finishing ability. Like most natural finishers, he has the ability to spot opportunities and make the runs and find the positions most likely to allow him to score. Another brilliant aspect of his transfer is that Lacazette has just recently turned 26, so Arsenal have acquired him in his prime playing years and should get a good number of games out of him.
In addition to his impressive stats, Lacazette’s playing style will also generate some nostalgia for long-time Gunners. His pace and natural finishing ability bear more than a passing resemblance to the players one associates with the era of Henry, Ljungberg and Pires. Hopefully this indication of ambition means Arsenal will retain all their stars and head into the 2017/2018 season with a frontline consisting of Ozil, Sanchez, and Lacazette. That collection of talent is likely to rival most attacks in the league and could definitely help Arsenal muscle their way closer to competing for the league again.
Player Profile: Alexandre Lacazette
Age: 26 Height: 1.75m
League goals 2016/2017: 28
League goals 2015/2016: 21
League goals 2014/2015: 27
League goals 2013/2014: 15