How do Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud match up when you compare their recent stats?
The strikers enjoyed very different seasons last time out with Lacazette making his way to 45 appearances for Lyon, scoring 37 goals with a total playing time of 3,480 minutes.
On the other hand, Giroud struggled through the whole season. While he made only 5 appearances fewer (40 games), and scored 16, his game time was reduced to 1,780 minutes, half that of Lacazette.
Both players have different physical attributes and the way they contribute to their teams is different. Giroud is limited to playing only in a central attacking role while Lacazette can be effectively deployed on either flank as attacking winger as well as through the middle.
- Age: 26 (May 28, 1991)
- Height: 5’7″
- Foot: Right
- Transfermarkt value: £35m
- Career appearances: 275 (club) 11 (France)
- Career goals: 129 (club) 1 (France)
- Age: 30 (Sep 30, 1986)
- Height: 6’3″
- Foot: Left
- Transfermarkt value: £20m
- Career appearances: 404 (club) 64 (France)
- Career goals: 175 (club) 27 (France)
Attack build up
In terms of build up, we took a look at their ability to keep possession and create chances, and here, the difference is obvious.
Per-match statistics show that Lacazette creates 1.53 chances on average, with 1.43 key passes. Giroud on the other hand only produces 0.59 chances with 0.48 key-passes.
Yet, Giroud managed to make seven assists compared to the five of Lacazette last season. This could be down to the fact that Arsenal have better players surrounding Giroud than Lacazette had at Lyon.
In terms of holding the ball and keeping possession with completed passes, both players have similar abilities that make them rather hard to dispossess.
Lacazette has a slightly better pass completion rate than Giroud (78% – 72%).
As mentioned earlier, Lacazette leads with the number of goals scored at 37 compared to Giroud’s 16, but with far more minutes on the pitch.
When converted to per-match statistics, Lacazette scores almost one goal per match while Giroud needs a bit more than two games to do the same.
The total amount of shots and their shot accuracy suggest that the ex-Lyon forward shoots twice as much as Giroud (2.77 – 1.34 shots per-game) while maintaining a better shot accuracy with 65% of all his shots on target. Giroud hits the target in 59% of cases.
Neither player has much responsibility when their teams defend from open play and most of their impact defensively is through their ability to put pressure on the opponents back line.
On the one hand, Giroud is better at making interceptions and his height allows him to defend set pieces. His physical ability allows him to be a dominant force in the air. He makes, on average, 0.2 interceptions, 0.5 clearances and 0.6 tackles per game while also making 0.8 fouls.
Lacazette on the other hand is quicker and has a better ability to put pressure on players rather than relying on his ability to read passes. His influence on the defence comes with 1.2 tackles, 0.1 interceptions and 0.1 clearances per-game and he makes close to two fouls per game.
The sheer number of tackles and the difference in their abilities and approach are shown in the number of cards they’ve collected with six yellows for Lacazette and two with one red for Giroud.
Lacazette is hitting his prime and it shows in every aspect of his game.
He’s young, clinical in front of the goal and has the right attitude to keep going for years to come.
Giroud is starting a slow decline and his reduced game time last season shows that Arsene Wenger doesn’t believe he still has what it takes to lead the Arsenal from the front.
The difference between the two players is obvious and I personally don’t see much chance for Giroud to start many games, unless Arsene Wenger decides to utilise Lacazette as a winger.
This could be a possibility if Giroud comes on as a substitute with the team losing and in need of an extra edge in attack, otherwise, Alexandre Lacazette is the most obvious first choice for the Gunners.