Arsenal have been linked with a move for a striker all summer with Alexandre Lacazette said to be one of the players they are looking at.
The Lyon forward has been prolific in Ligue 1 over the past few seasons and it would be no surprise to see him in the Premier League soon.
Lacazette, a product of the club’s excellent youth academy was born and raised in Lyon and his hometown club is the only one he has ever represented.
He has passed 20 goals in all competitions in each of his last three seasons at the club and has established himself as one of the hottest strikers in Ligue 1.
Only Zlatan Ibrahimović has scored more goals in the French top flight over the past 3 seasons than Lacazette so he has done it consistently over a period of time now but Lacazette does still have his doubters.
Competition with Giroud
He failed to make the final French squad for Euro 2016 despite the absence of Karim Benzema and with Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud enjoying a good tournament for Les Bleus, it is clear who Didier Deschamps thinks is the better player.
Giroud is is in the running for the Golden Boot at Euro 2016 and his form could convince Arsene Wenger to keep faith with the 29 year old as Arsenal’s first-choice striker next season.
Certainly, there would be no room for both Giroud and Lacazette to make the same starting eleven as they are both out and out strikers and Wenger only ever opts to start with one.
Therefore, if the Gunners are to invest in a striker this summer they have two real options.
Either they sign a forward of the sort of caliber that indicates he would clearly be an upgrade on Giroud or they sign someone with potential who would be willing to perhaps play second fiddle to the Frenchman initially at least.
Lacazette is probably somewhere in between the two. Perhaps he will ultimately develop into a better player than Giroud, but he is not there yet and he certainly would represent a bit of a gamble.
In short Lacazette isn’t a guaranteed solution to Arsenal’s goalscoring problems and if they’ve lost faith in Giroud they’d be wise to break the bank and sign someone who is a proven goalscorer at the very top level as opposed to Lacazette, a player who has scored just 1 goal in 10 appearances for his country.
If Arsene Wenger does still believe in Olivier Giroud then they should perhaps go for someone even younger than Lacazette, who’d be willing to play a bit-part role initially and develop into the long-term solution.
At 25, Lacazette is heading into the peak of his career and has done enough in Ligue 1 to suggest he is too good to be warming benches.
A move to the Emirates wouldn’t make sense for Lacazette unless he receives assurances that he is being signed as the club’s first choice striker.
Invariably players from Ligue 1 take a bit of time to settle in the Premier League and given Arsenal really need to be challenging for the title next term, they aren’t in the sort of position where they can give a guy 20 games and allow him time to get used to the league and team’s style of play even if he’s not producing the goods.
Therefore right now a move for Lacazette doesn’t feel like the right one for Arsenal and they may be best to eye up other targets.
Written by Mark Sochon
Follow Mark on Twitter @tikitakagol
Check out his brilliant blog on all things La Liga, Tiki-Taka-Gol!
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