Born on 28 May 1991 in Lyon, Lacazette’s family are originally from Guadeloupe in Caribbean. Alexandre Lacazette started playing football at the age of seven at his local club Elan sportif in the 8th arrondissement of Lyon. He came through the ranks at Lyon being compared to club legend Sonny Anderson, a Brazilian striker who won the French league twice at the Parc OL. The 26-year-old’s development followed a typical path for a young player: he was neither a teenage prodigy nor an Ian Wright-style ‘late developer’. He first broke into double figures for league goals in the 2013-14 with 15 in 36 starts and turned 23 at the end of that campaign – the age at which Wenger has said attackers start to produce goals and assists habitually.
Lacazette certainly did, scoring 27 times in 33 league starts the following season, 21 in 34 the next and a career best 28 in as many starts last term. He’s been banging in the goals in France for a good four years and is starting to break into Didier Deschamps’s national team. As the world and his dog have been pointing out on social media, 22 of his Ligue 1 goals were penalties. This must be taken into account when looking at his numbers, but given Arsenal’s struggles to find a regular taker in the absence of Santi Cazorla having a ‘penalty merchant’ might be no bad thing. He has been named in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year on three occassions and was Ligue 1 Player of the Year and top goalscorer during the 2014/15 season, when Lyon finished second. Despite three seasons of sustained goalscoring, Lacazette has been feeding on the crumbs dropped from football’s top table. He has just five goals in the Champions League (though Lyon as a club have fallen in stature on the European stage concurrently) and only two starts for France’s senior team. Wenger might be attracted to the idea of a player with everything to prove.
Lacazette’s Style of Play
The Frenchman’s industry and doggedness is the perfect tonic to the lethargy that, over the years, has seemingly crept into Arsenal’s front-line. As such, expect a central-based, solo forward role for the 26-year-old who will be able to energise Arsenal’s attack and keep opponents’ defenders occupied with his hard running and incessant harrying of the ball. Alternatively, in a 4-3-3 formation Lacazette could be utilised freely across the front line having spent his younger days as winger. More than just a penalty-box striker, the Frenchman would bring a degree of fluidity and variety to Arsenal’s attack. Lacazette’s wide palette means he would be able to adapt easily to working with the more direct Danny Welbeck and even compatriot Olivier Giroud – should he stay.
This means Lacazette is very comfortable coming short and combining, and he should be able to riff with Mesut Ozil and company when Arsenal play their ‘Wengerball’ combination play around the edge of the penalty area. There is no mystery over how Lacazette and Lyon’s Nabil Fekir, a left-footer with a hint of Özil about him, hit it off so well at the Ligue 1 club. The likes of Podolski, Lucas Perez and even Theo Walcott have cut awkward figures when asked to link, but Lacazette should manage it. If Wenger can encourage Ozil and the French forward to work closely within each other’s orbits, then there’s no reason Arsenal can’t become a formidable attacking force next season.
What makes Lacazette worth 50+ Million
These stats on the left prove show how he’s effective than the current striking options at Arsenal. Also there’s a list of stats that show just how well Lacazette’s numbers compare with the top players around Europe.
1. Over the last four seasons, he has scored more Ligue 1 goals than any other player…
2. Last season, only six players across Europe’s top leagues scored more goals than him…
3. In fact, last season, he scored as many goals as Luis Suarez… and two more than Harry Kane…
4. Only Lionel Messi can match his all-round game over the last three years..
5. His finishing is better than that of any current Arsenal forward..
6. He scores more frequently than any current Arsenal forward..
7. Last season, he created more chances than Giroud, Walcott, Welbeck and Perez combined.
Wenger has paid a lot but he has also got a brilliant player for that money. We also like to end this article with a skills and goals video of him in 2017.