Since Robin Van Persie left Arsenal for Manchester United back in 2012, the Gunners have yet to replace him with a centre forward who consistently bags 20-25 goals a season. Yes, Olivier Giroud has done a more than adequate job up front for Arsenal, but questions marks still loom over whether the Frenchman has the ‘world class’ ability to propel Arsenal to the title.
One player who certainly is in the bracket of ‘world class’ is Alexis Sanchez, who contributed an impressive 30 goals and 19 assists in all competitions last season. And with the Chilean seemingly carrying Arsenal at times last year, it would only make sense to ease the pressure and dependence on Sanchez (If he stays, that is). Step forward, Alexandre Lacazette…
The Lyon born and bred striker was the subject of a rejected bid from Arsenal yesterday, with negotiations reportedly still ongoing. Opinions on the ability of Lacazette seem to differ, with some referring to him as the ‘French Darren Bent’, whilst others rate him as one of the best strikers in the world. Lets take a look at some of his stats:
Alexandre Lacazette had the highest chance conversion rate (38.9%) in Europe’s top five leagues last season – significantly higher than Arsenal’s average team chance conversion rate since 2012 (18.4%). With a playmaker of Mesut Özil’s ability, the prospect of him linking up with a striker so clinical could help Arsenal flourish next season.
Lacazette also managed to score 28 Ligue 1 goals throughout the 2016 calendar year, a feat not managed since 1991 – not a bad achievement considering players such as Didier Drogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and now Edinson Cavani have all prospered in Ligue 1 throughout this time period.
The Frenchman also scored more league goals last season (28) than Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, Olivier Giroud and Lucas Perez combined (25). Lacazette’s goal scoring record cements himself amongst some of the worlds best strikers, with only Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luis Suarez, Robert Lewandowski, Gonzalo Higuain, Edinson Cavani, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sergio Aguero scoring more goals in Europe’s top 5 leagues since 2012/2013.
Obviously the Premier League would be a step up for Lacazette, but at the ripe age of 26 and entering the peak of his powers, perhaps the time is right for him to challenge himself in the Premier League with Arsenal. There is no denying his impressive goal scoring ability, particular as a poacher. If Arsene Wenger manages to sign Lacazette, maybe just maybe, he has found the answer to Arsenal’s striking woes.
Written by Lukas Jennings.