Alexandre Lacazette: the title-winning, world-class striker that Arsenal are missing
Without a shadow of a doubt, Arsenal have one of the strongest and most complete squads in the Premier League. From reliable veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech to assist king Mesut Ozil, the Gunners have talented players in more or less every position and many believe that Arsene Wenger’s men should be challenging for the English title in the near future. Arsenal have failed to lift the top-flight crown for far too long…
However, they are still lacking a major presence upfront. Olivier Giroud performed well for France at this summer’s European Championship but his critics doubt whether he can maintain that level of performance for an entire domestic campaign. In addition, Danny Welbeck’s injury issues continue to haunt him and the Theo Walcott experiment hasn’t really worked out if truth be told.
As of July 28, 32Red are offering 6/1 on Arsenal to win the Premier League title next season – something the Gunners haven’t managed to do since ‘The Invincibles’ romped to the crown in 2004. On paper, the current Arsenal squad has the capacity to maintain a title challenge throughout the duration of the season but their striker woes could come back to haunt them unless Wenger opts to spend big in the summer transfer window.
And one of the names on the lips of many Arsenal fans is Alexandre Lacazette. The Lyon star was exceptional last season, becoming the first Frenchman to score over 20 goals in back-to-back Ligue 1 campaigns since 1999. If nothing else, this shows his ability to perform on a consistent basis and his French connection should appeal to compatriot Wenger on a personal level if nothing else.
At 25 years old, Lacazette is the perfect age to move to the Emirates Stadium in a bid to help Arsenal regain the title. He is an intelligent footballer but above all, he’s a lethal finisher – his ability to find space inside the penalty area is unrivalled in European football and he finished second only to Zlatan Ibrahimović in the French league’s top goal scorer standings last season; a statistic that shows just how prolific he was at the top level.
On his day, the Lyon forward is capable of producing a moment of magic to unlock any defense – that’s how good he is. In fact, Arsenal fans will be licking their lips at the prospect of Lacazette playing in front of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sánchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alex Iwobi. With a competent striker in attack, Wenger’s men may finally manage to get their hands back on the crown. It certainly couldn’t hinder their chances…
Lacazette might not be the answer to Arsenal’s long-term issues but he is full of confidence, in his prime and on fire; three traits that suggest he could be the man to fire Arsenal back to the summit of English football. Wenger may be reluctant to take a chance on him as he is unproven away from Ligue 1 but he has the skillset to be a major success in the Premier League and you feel that another top-flight club will come knocking if Arsenal don’t.
One thing is for sure: Wenger needs to invest in another striker – Giroud cannot do it on his own. With Welbeck side-lined until after Christmas, Arsenal’s hopes currently rest with Giroud; and that won’t fill Gunners fans with confidence. Lacazette would give Wenger another option and dimension upfront; just look at his goals from the 2015/16 campaign below – he could cause mayhem in attacking areas on the counter-attack next season.
The France star isn’t the “big name” that some Arsenal fans have been calling for but realistically, Wenger was never going to invest heavily after spending £35 million on Granit Xhaka earlier this summer. Lacazette might be available for £40 million – which isn’t bad in today’s market… ESPECIALLY if he gives the Gunners a fantastic opportunity to finally get their hands back on the Premier League title…