Alexandre Lacazette has already netted his first Arsenal goal, but until we see him in action in competitive games, we won’t get a real feel for him as a player.
Luckily, he’s been playing at quite a high level elsewhere before we signed him, and to know what kind of player he is, you only have to look…
26-year-old Lacazette made 45 appearances last season for Lyon across all competitions. The striker managed to find the back of the net 37 times, and made five assists for his teammates.
History at Lyon
The French international spent his whole career at Lyon before moving to Arsenal, and made 275 appearances, scoring 129 goals scored and creating 43 assists since his debut in the 2009/10 season.
2014/15 season was his first breakthrough campaign. With Lyon losing their first-choice striker, Lisandro Lopez, Lacazette took his chance and cemented his place in the starting 11.
In that season he scored 27 goals in 33 games, surpassing even Zlatan Ibrahimović at Paris Saint-Germain as the league’s top striker.
It’s also worth mentioning that the player started his career as a winger but made the transition to centre-forward and has been brilliant ever since.
Lacazette’s greatest strength is his prolific finishing.
He has a natural talent in finding his way around the goalkeeper and with his instinct for goal combined with a great technique, he’s one of the most lethal strikers in the game.
He is also able to use both feet to shoot. Even though he is primarily right-footed, he is still very dangerous when on his ‘weaker’ foot.
Although Lacazette is not one of the tallest players, he does have enough physical strength to defend himself while holding the ball as he waits for supporting players to arrive.
Another great feature of his is his dribbling. He’s a handful for opposing defenders and he usually makes enough space for himself to have a go at goal or to open up a chance with his probing passes.
His attacking movement and positioning are every midfielder’s dream. Lacazette keeps defenders busy for the whole 90 minutes, and often makes runs behind their backs to find an opening to receive a pass.
His lack of height could be considered his only real weakness and the player doesn’t present a significant aerial threat for the opposition.
Other than a lack of aerial threat, Lacazette is a very valuable striker when provided with the right support.
How he fits at Arsenal
At Lyon, the whole squad was more or less oriented to provide the ball to Lacazette and his job was to stay up front and score goals.
At Arsenal he will have more defensive obligations, and there is also a possibility of Arsene Wenger utilising him in a slightly wider role than the one he’s used to regularly.
The competition for the role of main striker in the first team is sure to put enough positive pressure on Lacazette to avoid complacency, and both Giroud and Welbeck are sure to fight for their chance.
The price of £52m could not be considered unreasonable at all due to his age and his proven abilities as a striker.
Goals, skills, runs and assists