Lacazette is Arsenal’s new number nine for 2017/18, but is the number really cursed?
Let’s take a look at the other Arsenal number nines in the Premier League era…
First up, Paul Merson was Arsenal’s number nine from the start of the Premier League until he left in 1997. He made 289 league appearances, scoring 78 goals, a good total for a midfielder, and won five major trophies with the Gunners. So there wasn’t much to complain about there.
Next Nicolas Anelka took the shirt, and was again pretty successful, scoring 23 goals in 65 league appearances, and winning the Premier League and FA Cup before leaving for Real Madrid.
Davor Suker didn’t fare so well, only managing one year at Arsenal and scoring eight goals, before leaving for an even shorter spell at West Ham. Things only got worse, with the next number nine Francis Jeffers only scoring four goals in three years with Arsenal (although one of those years was spent on loan with Everton).
Jose Antonio Reyes came after that in 2004, and whilst he never quite lived up to the hype, 19 goals in 69 appearances, as well as two major trophies, mean it wasn’t all bad for the Spaniard. Julio Baptista didn’t do so well, only managing three goals in another short spell.
Eduardo seemed to be performing well for the Gunners but unfortunately a leg break ended any hopes of a spectacular Arsenal career, and he was followed by Park Chu Young, who just barely managed a single league appearance.
Finally, the last two players, Lukas Podolski and Lucas Perez, actually both had decent records for the Gunners. P
odolski managed 31 goals and 17 assists in 82 appearances overall, and Lucas got eight goals and six assists in 22 last year. Both struggled to get as many appearances as they would’ve liked, and didn’t always play up front, but they both got decent returns nonetheless.
So maybe life hasn’t always been perfect for the man in the number nine shirt at Arsenal, but it’s certainly not as bad as some are making out, particularly in the last few years.
As long as Lacazette gets more appearances than Perez or Podolski he should be fine…