Alexandre Lacazette could be the big name striker Arsenal fans have been crying out for for years.
The Lyon striker, who Arsenal tried to sign last summer and who Arsene Wenger has been watching for 10 years, seems finally set to complete his move to north London.
However, there’s a sizeable chunk of the Gunners’ fanbase who don’t seem completely sold on the idea of Lacazette in an Arsenal shirt.
Perhaps it’s the name. Gooners have been crying out for a ‘big name’ striker since Robin van Persie rudely upped and left for Manchester United while in his peak back in 2012, and Lacazette isn’t really a bid name. These days, when people talk about big name strikers, you think of Sergio Aguero between 2013 to 2015. Luis Suarez. Dortmund’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
So, let’s take a look at Lacazette, who actually played his first game for Lyon against Arsenal at the Emirates Cup seven years ago, and see whether he has what it takes to become the superstar the Gunners have needed for years.
Firstly, what is he and what isn’t he?
The 26-year-old is a prolific striker with an overwhelmingly strong right foot.
He has the best conversion rate of any player who scored 20+ goals in Europe last season (38.9%) and has scored 94 goals since Olivier Giroud joined the Gunners in 2012. 25 less than the big man himself despite being four years younger.
Highest conversion rate (20+ goals) in Europe's top five leagues in 2016/17:
A. Lacazette (38.9%)
T. Werner (34.4%)
R. Falcao (33.9%)
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 23, 2017
He’s also an intelligent striker and Lacazette can offer the movement that Mesut Ozil has been waiting for.
What isn’t he?
Well, the lad’s not tall. He’s 5ft9 and therefore will most likely lack a little bit of physical presence, especially when it comes to aerial duels.
However, with Ozil creating and Lacazette finishing, who cares about headers – it could be a match made in heaven.
Lacazette is on the up after finishing his highest scoring season ever in Ligue 1, which suggests that Arsenal have acted at the right time. Perhaps a season too late but you never know.
He also reportedly set to sign a five year deal without the guarantee of Champions League football and asked Lyon if he could leave, which hints that the player believes in Wenger’s philosophy and genuinely wants to sign for Arsenal.
Lacazette is an experienced, prolific, intelligent out-and-out striker, who Ozil will love playing behind and who’s just about to hit his peak.
All the ingredients are there for the France international to become a true great at the club.