Not a summer goes by without Alexandre Lacazette being linked with Arsenal.
With several promising strikers around, should Arsenal fans be happy if they sign him?
- Lacazette has been a prolific scorer in France for the last few years
- Despite needing a striker, Wenger hasn’t been keen on him
- Arsenal have been targeting Kylian Mbappe
- The likes of Aubameyang, Lukaku, Morata and Belotti could also be options
It’s been a long time since there was a summer without Arsenal being linked with a litany of strikers. Although Olivier Giroud has been an able replacement for Robin van Persie, he’s never managed to match the Dutchman’ sheer goal output.
As a result, name after name is touted as a replacement for Giroud and despite everyone agreeing on Arsenal needed to sign a striker, they rarely do.
One name that has come up often is Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette. A product of Lyon’s academy, the Frenchman really shot to prominence when he scored 31 goals in 40 games during the 2014/15 campaign. With Giroud and Danny Welbeck failing to provide the goals for Arsenal that year, Lacazette was seen as the ideal signing. A young, pacey and prolific forward – what could be better?
The same question was asked last summer as Arsene Wenger once again turned down the opportunity to sign him. Despite Lacazette continuing to score the goals, Wenger didn’t think the £30m Lyon were asking for was a sound investment.
Now the striker is once again being linked with Arsenal, this time for £50m. While his price has gone up, it looks sensible compared to other strikers, most notably Kylian Mbappe’s.
Arsenal’s reported interest in Mbappe has captured the imagination the only way a potential £100m transfer can. Few believe it will happen but the prospect of the 18-year-old playing for Arsenal and emulating Thierry Henry has many fans dreaming. Signing Lacazette instead would be underwhelming.
In addition, there is still the question of if Lacazette is the best for the Gunners. At 26 he’s in his prime but he has yet make a mark in the Champions League or for France. Other clubs in need of a striker have seemingly ignored him as well.
Meanwhile, someone like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is reportedly available for £60m, has scored plenty in Europe against big clubs as well as competing with Robert Lewandowski to top the Bundesliga scoring charts. Players like Romelu Lukaku and Andrea Belotti lack that top level experience, but are younger prospects and a different profile of striker.
Yet while there are other, potentially more appealing options, Arsenal fans may have to be realistic. Given Arsenal’s lack of Champions League football, Lacazette could be the best they can get. The Frenchman is the quick, mobile forward fans have been craving, and could thrive with Alexis and Ozil supplying him.
Ultimately, any big-money striker signing should make the fans happy, in as much as it would show the club’s intent to improve the squad.
£50m would be an Arsenal transfer record and a significant chunk of their budget.
It wouldn’t excite like signing Mbappe would, but it could allow Arsenal to buy other big-money players as well.