Is Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette really worth £30 million to Arsenal?
Arsenal fans have been crying out for Arsene Wenger to sign a striker in every transfer window for years. Olivier Giroud has been fairly prolific since he signed from Montpellier in 2012, but his lack of consistency has inhibited his ability to push the North London side to the next level. Danny Welbeck initially impressed, despite expectation, but injuries have severely limited his impact since his switch from Manchester United.
Arsenal have begun breaking out the mythologised “war chest” in the past few windows, but the one area many believe they need to sign a player of real quality remains vacant. The wait could be coming to an end, though.
Lyon rejected a £30m bid from the Gunners for striker Alexandre Lacazette last week, but Arsenal are strongly believed to be returning with a stronger bid in the near future. Lyon manager Bruno Genesio added fuel to the flames by stating that “there are some offers you can’t refuse.”
The question is: would Lacazette add anything significant to Arsenal’s line-up?
The 25-year old-has flown relatively under the radar in the grand scheme, despite scoring 63 league goals for Lyon since his breakout season in 2013/14. His 21 league goals last season pushed Lyon to an impressive and slightly unexpected second place finish. While the French league isn’t renowned for its defensive solidarity, 20 goal-a-season strikers are in high demand at the moment, and that kind of potent finishing will surely translate across leagues.
The Lyon striker also assisted three goals for his team in Ligue 1, creating 43 chances over the course of the season. Arsene Wenger sets up his teams to attack in a very dynamic way, relying on strikers to create space and bring others into play to and score. The creativity that Lacazette provides could be vital in the campaign to come, should they finalise a move for him.
The France international offers a different style of play to Olivier Giroud, an added dimension that could dramatically diversify the way Arsenal play. While Giroud is more of a static target man that helps link up the attack and cause havoc at set pieces. Lacazette, on the other hand, used his dribbling prowess last season at Lyon to great effect. He averaged two aggressive dribbles per game, more than all of Arsenal’s strikers.
Lacazette was dispossessed 2.4 times per game on average last season in a league considered less physically demanding than the Premiership. As cliché as it is, being able to maintain possession is a vital part of English football. That being said, Sergio Agüero was dispossessed 3.4 times per game and still scored 24 goals in the league.
Arsenal have a history of missing out on key targets, be it through players renewing contracts or other clubs being more attractive propositions. French champions PSG are believed to be interested in signing Lacazette to spearhead a new look attack without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and as the biggest club in France, will definitely have the pulling power to tempt him.
Alexandre Lacazette is a clinical finisher as well as an intelligent footballer, and Arsenal have desperately been missing a player like him in recent years. While £30 million may have been a considerable figure for a player unproven at the pinnacle of the game a few years ago, the market has shifted to the point where any less than £40m would be a steal for a player of Lacazette’s quality, especially for Arsenal.
Featured image: All rights reserved by chao1989
Will also writes for footballticketnet
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