Alexandre Lacazette is a magnificent striker but doesn’t seem to be valued as such at the Emirates Stadium.
According to reports, the Gunners are considering the sale of the fabulous Frenchman to help fund their transfer activity.
Unai Emery is allegedly not fond of starting both Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang together, which does explain why Lacazette – and Aubameyang – have both started a surprising amount of games on the bench.
You can see the logic from the Arsenal board; Lacazette will be 28 in May – right at the end of the age bracket for one final big move in his career (Aubameyang joined Arsenal at 28, Luis Suárez left Liverpool for Barcelona at 27, Diego Costa joined Chelsea at 26). If they keep him beyond this point, his resale value will go down.
Moreover right now there are a few big clubs perhaps in need of a new No. 9 – Real Madrid are one, Barcelona another.
They may have their sights set elsewhere for now but Lacazette has the skill-set and proven ability to thrive for any side on the planet; if they were to realise he was available, they’d be foolish to not leap at the chance.
Similarly, Arsenal would be utterly wrongheaded to even consider selling their French striker. He’s not as expressive a personality as Aubameyang, nor does he necessarily light up social media with tricks and flicks, but this is a confident and composed striker with bags of ability and one hell of a celebration who seems to love turning out for Arsenal.
Whenever you watch him play, you hear Muddy Waters exclaim “I’m a mannnn!” over and over because that’s what Lacazette is: a man. The man.
One only needs to look at how consistent he has been for a side as inconsistent as Arsenal so often are. Having signed in the summer of 2017, Lacazette has faced 22 teams in the Premier League and he has scored against 18 of them. That shows the kind of goal spread that any side would die for.
He’s not bunching all his goals into a few hammerings of weak opponents, he’s consistently delivering.
And those clubs he’s not scored again? It’s not the big boys. Lacazette is the only active Arsenal player to have scored against every other club in the Premier League’s top six.
Showing up against the big guns isn’t exactly a speciality at the Emirates, so for the Gunners to have a player who has no fear of them and can hit them as hard as he can hit the minnows is a big deal.
It’s not just big games either, as Lacazette shows up in big moments with game-winning goals. In fact so far this season he has managed nine, which is more than any other player in the Premier League.
Given he has 11 goals total that means that 82% of his goals are game-winners. 82%! Can you even comprehend the ability of that to scale upwards if he were to be supplied with world-class service?
By winning goals we mean the go-ahead goal. For example, scoring the opener in a 2-0 win against Southampton is counted due to the fact even without Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s second, Arsenal would have won the game thanks to Lacazette.
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Lacazette can also link-play with his team-mates very well, a useful skill to have for any modern centre-forward. His positional intelligence is also through the roof, he always seems to be in the right place to make the right run.
So far this season he’s been caught offside 15 times, and of those players who have scored more than his 11 non-penalty goals, only Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling (both with 12 non-penalty goals) managed to avoid the linesman’s flag less than Lacazette.
But the true ace up the Frenchman’s sleeve, his secret weapon, is that he’s actually a defensive dynamo. One wouldn’t expect him to be an elite defender because he doesn’t have that reputation but he is a demon without the ball.
Jordan Ayew and Raul Jimenez are the only No. 9’s to have made more tackles than his 13 so far this season. Similarly, only Jimenez has more interceptions than his 14; and Lacazette has as many Premier League goals as Jimenez and Ayew put together.
Lacazette is just a relentless and intelligent defensive presence who can lead the press from the front. This is a man who gets stuck in, taking defensive pressure and shaking it off like it was nothing.
After all, he’s the only Premier League player to both win and concede 40+ fouls, so he can even “do a Drogba” if needed.
There’s simply not a single thing you could want from a striker that Lacazette cannot deliver. He even looks cool and has a sharp beard, for goodness sake! And he has a genuinely cool celebration too!
Selling him would be unbelievably short-sighted of Arsenal and any cash reaped from the sale would surely end up needing to be spent in another year or two when Arsenal realised that the one thing missing from their team is a striker exactly like Lacazette.
One could easily see Lacazette slotting in at the head of Barcelona’s team, or Real Madrid’s. He could thrive for Juventus or even Bayern Munich.
Lacazette has all the skill a striker could ever want and he’s proven so time and time again to Arsenal fans. Now they just have to convince the board that he’s essential.