Exclusive

‘General’ Lacazette could lead Gunners to glory

By Albin Mouton

Lyon Striker would be an excellent addition to Arsenal’s squad

9th March 2017. Lyon is facing AS Roma at home in the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie. After a poor first half, Lyon get back in the game thanks to (now Bayern Munich signing) Corentin Tolisso and manage to lead by 3 goals to 2 with a beautiful left-footed curved shot by Nabil Fekir. So far, Alexandre Lacazette has had a solid game, delivering an assist after a series of one-two’s for his friend Tolisso. But in the 91st minute, ‘General Lacazette’, as Lyon fans like to call him, awakes. Receiving a pass from Mathieu Valbuena just outside the penalty box, Lyon’s striker takes a touch to get the ball slightly in the air and fires it into the top left-corner (2.18 on this clip). A tremendous screamer followed by a celebration even more powerful. Instead of running around, Lacazette stands still, waiting for his partners to congratulate him and stares the whole time at the crowd, posing. One that reminds of Eric Cantona’s against Sunderland.

Cantona-style goal celebration v Roma

This goal represents perfectly who Alexandre Lacazette is and who he could be for Arsenal if they were to sign him. Power, technique, strength, vision, instinct and character. Criticized many times about his ability to score important goals, he has proven this season that he is the boss at Lyon. In the past three years, he scored more than 20 league goals in each campaign, getting the most goals in Ligue 1 during the 2014/15 season, ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. This season, he managed to secure 28 league goals for his team making him one of the top strikers in the world.

With Atletico Madrid’s interest an irrelevance due to the transfer ban from the UEFA commission, Lyon’s striker is ready for a move to a big European club. As Arsenal has already shown a willingness to buy him last season, the Gunners remain in good position to acquire his services. Although the bill would be quite big, other European giants are likely to make offers in the next few weeks. But, Alexandre Lacazette is worth the money.

For example, his shot-conversion rate (33.3%) was the best of any striker with more than 20 goals in Europe, better than Harry Kane (26.4%), Luis Suarez (24.2%), Lionel Messi (20.7%) or Cristiano Ronaldo (15.4%). Since his debut for Lyon in 2010, he scored 127 in 274 appearances and became the first player in Lyon’s history to score 25 goals during the 2014/2015 season. Something he has now done twice with his 28 goals during the last campaign. This record was one that neither Karim Benzema nor Sonny Anderson could achieve. On his potential last game for Lyon, he scored twice against Nice to reach 100 league goals for the club he has always played for.

But Lacazette’s not only a great striker. He’s a hard-worker that never quits, even if he fails, he just keeps trying over and over again to help his team win. He’s also a team player, very altruistic. His technique and vision combined allow him to deliver great through balls as well as small space plays. His only physical weakness lays in his aerial duels. His heading skills are definitely not very good but he compensates by anticipating a defender’s movements on the field. He doesn’t win a lot in the air but he’s able to give a hard time to defenders with his body. He often uses his marking defender’s movement to make space for himself or his partners. Once he gets the ball, it’s very difficult to take it away from him.

As opposed to someone like Alexis Sanchez, who’s not a natural striker, Lacazette has learned to stay up front almost all the time allowing him to be available for his partners. Lyon’s striker often plays with one-touch deviations. With that, he accelerates the pace of the game and he’s always moving around to make runs into the space. His ability to make the right runs in the right space is phenomenal. Sometimes, he can be too impatient when making his runs but at 26, that is something he has improved a lot throughout his Ligue 1 seasons. Inside the penalty area, he’s the kind of player that will always get the ball. It’s like the ball is attracted to his feet. Alexandre Lacazette is also someone with special character. Criticized by its own fans for saying he wanted to play for a top European club next season, he replied on the pitch by scoring more and more goals.

Lacazette’s playing style would suit to Arsenal because he can adorn a team by the goals he secures. It’s only an assumption but, play him alongside Giroud, Sanchez and Özil and he will perfectly fit in with the squad. Just take a look at his 37 goals in 45 games in all competitions last season. He’s also a very good penalty taker and has scored many of his goals from the spot. This particular skill would be a good addition to the squad because Arsenal doesn’t have a designated taker. Alexis’ and Özil’s records are poor, Giroud can take them but you never know what to expect and Santi Cazorla is always injured. So, this aspect of his game could benefit the Gunners.

One thing remains undone though: the French national first team. He first appeared in June 2013 and only scored one goal in 10 appearances. The French manager, Didier Deschamps, does not regularly include Alexandre Lacazette in his squad, even though he has more club goals than any other French striker. Didier Deschamps did recently call him up for the games against Paraguay, Sweden and England but he only played 20 minutes against Paraguay.

The Frenchman also knows what it’s like to play in intense derbies. The one between Lyon and Saint-Etienne is the biggest rivalry in France and he has been raised in this particular spirit inside Lyon’s academy. Alexandre Lacazette has been truly loyal to his club, he knows what it means to represent something.

Arsenal seems interested in him and in good position to sign him if Arsene Wenger makes a suitable offer. But yet, nothing is confirmed and Arsenal might lose him if the offer takes too long to process. Other big clubs will definitely be interested in one of the best strikers in the world this summer.

20th June 2017 13:48:41

(6/10)

Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

Yes its Ron  13:58pm 20th Jun 2017

I like the look of him. Hope they can sign him. - Post No. 108115


Moscowgooner  14:08pm 20th Jun 2017

'Arsenal seems interested in him and are in good position to sign him if Arsene Wenger makes a suitable offer.´ Ah well, forget this one then. - Post No. 108116


Yes its Ron  14:14pm 20th Jun 2017

MG - Ha ha. Sadly, past precedent suggests theres truth in yr sentiment. Get a feeling something might happen with him though. No reason for feeling it, but hes a type of player AFC really needs. The Club might not have reacted to the discontent but i think theres at least an underlying acceptance that AFC need to assuage it at least. Lacazatte's a good start. - Post No. 108117


mbg  15:05pm 20th Jun 2017

Albin, he could well do/have, but not while he has an old fraud of a manager with even little expectation and ambition than before on/in him managing him. wenger out. - Post No. 108118


Badarse  15:40pm 20th Jun 2017

Afternoon Ron. Yes I caught the first part of the lady's lecture and thought it so clear-sighted. We all know history reflects a certain version of events. Even religion historically reflected the patriarchal system in evidence at the time. Dunkirk-abject defeat/strategic retreat. You take your pick. Yes history is synonymous with all things and of course the circumstances surrounding AFC. Ta for the tip again though; I have always believed this website was worth more than the braying of two tribes, this little kernel endorses that, I think. - Post No. 108119


Gaz  15:54pm 20th Jun 2017

Is he really THAT good? If he was you'd have thought one of the big European sides would have taken him long ago? Also I've head all kinds of conspiracy theories as to why he's behind Giroud in the French national side but come on Deschamps isn't that stupid not to play him if he really is that much better than Giroud? Just think for £60m I'd want someone who isn't 'possibly' better than Giroud and Welbeck but is 'definately' better! One other thing. That celebration after he scored versus Roma? How f*cking poncy was that!!! - Post No. 108120


equalizer  16:00pm 20th Jun 2017

"Lacazette’s playing style would suit to Arsenal because he can adorn a team by the goals he secures". There you have it folks, top class analysis. - Post No. 108121


Badarse  16:11pm 20th Jun 2017

I never get involved with speculation, probably over anything, beyond a cursory consideration. Then I await either news of the confirmation, or the non-news. I avoid football speculation like the plague. With perhaps that in mind I was a little disappointed with Alex Brooker-the Arsenal fan on 'The Last Leg', of which I am a fan. He sounded a little like mbg when asked what he would say to AW if he was on the show. His 'joke' answer was, 'Why are you here and not out buying players?' Cue laughter. I just reflect on how modern young things regard close season as a shopping spree, and I do not like shopping. Window shopping, observing, stopping for a cuppa is all fine, but not what I regard as headless shopping. Now as season ends people begin scanning for likely new bods, and talking of their imminent arrival. A frenetic free for all takes place. Was it so long ago when I would just say, phew season over, a break then begin again sometime soon? Now it is seamless. A season ends, speculation, then hot air floats across the airwaves, then we are off once more. A season has ended, we have to buy!I guess it's just another form of evolution, but one I stay firmly outside. Cue laughter(with relief). - Post No. 108122


David1  17:18pm 20th Jun 2017

Talking of evolution, Badarse, we all thought you'd been selected for extinction. So much for Darwin. - Post No. 108123


Yes its Ron  17:33pm 20th Jun 2017

Gaz - i think hes more a type to play with and alongside either Giroud or Welbeck really. Hes different to them i think rather than better. Hes probably not at a level for a Munich or a Madrid but hes at a PL level, albeit without certainty he ll cope, as with any French player taken out of Ligue 1.I think Welbecks a good player but has been stunted through not having a compatible partner to play with. Lacazette cd just cut the mustard? - Post No. 108124


Badarse  17:58pm 20th Jun 2017

Good moaning David1, that was a goliath statement, but please don't shake your dream catcher at me, or any other piece of mumbo jumbo-I guess the jumbo is the elephant in the room, eh? - Post No. 108125


Radfordkennedy  18:14pm 20th Jun 2017

Hello Ron....Nail on head there mate,'not good enough for Madrid but good enough for the PL'says it all doesn't it...good shout re:Welbeck he would make the perfect foil for sure...dont know if you caught any of the recent u20/21 football but im mightily impressed with the young players that Everton seem to be producing,Koeman did the same at Southampton and he seems to have the knack of uncovering little diamonds. - Post No. 108126


Roy  18:50pm 20th Jun 2017

Undoubtedly a decent player and there's a fairly good chance he'll cut the mustard wherever he goes. In fact, it wouldn't be unreasonable to suggest that we may have put in an offer already. The problem for us the situation with the Manager. I haven't really taken anything the club has said seriously for a while now and I see no reason to change that view after they stated that they are serious about winning the title and in almost the same breath kept Wenger on for another 2 years ! Next season will be a pressure cooker like never before for Wenger with a couple of dodgy results interpreted as a full blown crisis especially with the journo's turning against him too. Not fair maybe, but it's a situation of the clubs own making. The next move for Lacazette is a big one career - wise. He will be walking into a Manager that is no longer capable of winning the league and the toxic atmosphere that will no doubt accompany it, which won't do him or his game any favours whatsoever. I know you could put this argument up for any prospective purchase, but there it is. If he comes fair enough, and I think he'll do ok, but nothing more than that. - Post No. 108127


David1  19:39pm 20th Jun 2017

Badarse - in spite of my apparent philistinism, I'm certain that the elephant's name was Dumbo? - Post No. 108128


CORNISH GOONER  19:43pm 20th Jun 2017

This is so bloody typical of what L'Arsenal have become. A "big" club never settles for second best which is what Lacazette is - decent but unable to dislodge Giroud of all people in the french team. But that's the way it will be for another 2 years. So it's "bollocks" to this article from me. But I see promise in Badarse & think we should move on from the footie &, for the immediate future, use this site to debate literature, history & maybe politics - although I got into hot water on a U3A site for daring to crack a few political remarks. Perhaps the heat is getting to me? Another stinkeroony forecast for tomorrow - the horror, the horror!! - Post No. 108129


Badarse  21:18pm 20th Jun 2017

David1, there were two elephants they went in two by two, remember? or was that just a fairy tale too? Good old Arsenal. - Post No. 108130


markymark  22:40pm 20th Jun 2017

I've been a tad bored with our transfer business . So I've turned my hand to bad poetry . The paste will no doubt splodge this without breaks but here goes. I think I found it, I searched for it every day Yet it remained in the distance, so far away. I found the magic money tree Out there in the distance for all to see. It's fruit hangs low For all the good students of Eton, Harrow and Stowe But it's not a tree for the likes of you or me. May told us it didn't exist, you cannot see Guarded by birthright and fate A chimera to fool us not available at any date. - Post No. 108131


David1  22:45pm 20th Jun 2017

Badarse - indeed they did - the same ark and the same goal. Dumbo and Jumbo...Maybe opposites attract. - Post No. 108132


peter wain  8:36am 21st Jun 2017

if he is any good he would be playing for a top team and certainly be in the French side before Giroud. Anyway I remain sceptical that we will sign him. I see us more or a free transfer club these days. Catalyst for change then sack Wenger the board the owner and half of the first team squad who played so poorly against Palace and West Brom. Wenger out now. - Post No. 108134


Hi Berry  8:46am 21st Jun 2017

Aubameyang, anyone? - Post No. 108135


MAF  9:06am 21st Jun 2017

Alexis Sanchez has agreed to join Manchester City this summer but a fee has not yet been reached with Arsenal, according to reports in Spain. Gerard Romero, who has a strong track record in reporting City’s transfers involving John Stones, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Nolito, claims that the Chile international has an agreement in place to move to Pep Guardiola’s side. Lukaku, Ronaldo, Hazard - who will be the first £100m player?» But a transfer fee still has not been agreed between City and Arsenal, with Arsene Wenger adamant that the 28-year-old will not be sold. Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/06/20/alexis-sanchez-agrees-to-join-manchester-city-as-talks-continue-with-arsenal-6723284/#ixzz4kcdXq0QJ - Post No. 108136


Yes its Ron  10:35am 21st Jun 2017

R/K - Hi mate. Its been a while hasnt it. Yes, we have to accept that the top 4 or 5 Clubs in the World are way above PL level dont we. Its an error strewn, haphazard, frantic, though eventful and colourful league of football i believe and thats where it is isnt it. Many of us talk of 2nd and 3rd tier players being AFCs bag. Theyre right of course, but thats what the PL deserves in truth. Its still prehistoric tactically and technically despite the hype given to it. The very best players wont opt for the PL until they need an inflated salary to see out careers already on the wane by some distance. Ibrahimovitch for e.g. Hes a fraction of the player he was even 4 yrs back (i think ive got more pace than him!), though he was feted when he came here as if he was a PL Coup. Truth is, the PL was the best he could manage. - Post No. 108137


Badarse  10:44am 21st Jun 2017

Good moaning David1. I admire your tenacity and dedication-truly I do. As one of my heroes sung, 'Whatever Gets You Through the Night.' Mark of Nark, that was quite good-well I liked it. When we go on our second crusade you will be our Alan-a-Dale, jeff wright will be your lyre-he tells a few fibs, doesn't he? - Post No. 108138


CORNISH GOONER  11:01am 21st Jun 2017

Please forgive my ignorance but the penny has only just dropped re the author of this article - "Mouton" = French for Sheep/Mouton. Therefore an AKB or someone "havin' a larf". - Post No. 108139


Yes its Ron  11:16am 21st Jun 2017

MAF - Probably going to be shot down over this but i think selling Sanchez is the correct thing to do. Hes good but hes also peaked in my view. AFC have have had his best period. Top money to sell him now is right. AFC wont let him run his contract down and nor should they. It has similarities with the RVP situ, a sale i also thought was good business. Folk can say what they want about AW but when it comes to selling hes usually spot on in timing them and getting decent deals. Man City are our ready made receptacle this last 7 or 8 yrs for selling players who are over priced and not so brilliant. AS is a higher level than the usual to sell to them, but he wont perform there for long as he has at Arsenal, im sure of that. To be honest im not convinced Guardiola will last long there himself. He went to the wrong Manchester Club in mu view and in turn, Utd have a bent penny in charge there now. Mourinho was cut out for a tacky outfit like City. We ll see, though i think Wenger (however long he lasts at Arsenal, will be wearing that leathery grin again soon as Mourinho and Guardiola hit the buffers, each Manchester Club being several hundred million the worse off for their efforts. Theyre both yesterdays men in reality, thats why theyre in the PL. - Post No. 108140


A Cornish Gooner  11:52am 21st Jun 2017

Ron. Not trying to shoot you down, but one of the main reasons for discontent among Arsenal fans is AW's abysmal transfer record over the last several years. Sanchez was, arguably, our best player last season. So why would it make sense to sell him unless you wanted to make 'top money'. And then what? Buy the new Sanogo? Or just bank the money. If AW is so shrewd in selling players at the right time how come we still have the likes of Walcott? He only ever seems to get money for players when they WANT to go.Cornish Albin is a 'Gapper' in The Arsenal Gap Year Programme. - Post No. 108141


Exeter Ex  12:06pm 21st Jun 2017

"when it comes to selling hes usually spot on in timing them and getting decent deals" Cole sold for 5m with Gallas exchange. Henry sold for less than should've been due to one year left on contract. RVP sold to Man U with one year left on contract and wins them the league (good business???). Same about to happen with Sanchez. Numerous other examples. Sorry Ron but you're so wrong there. And if managers in their 40s and 50s who've won leagues and European cups in very recent seasons are past it, what does that make a manager in his late 60s who last won a title a decade and a half ago? Even with poor seasons by their standards in the one just gone, Mourinho and Guardiola had better seasons than Wenger by the standard that Wenger himself set - qualifying for CL. He'll be wearing that 'leathery grin' all right next season, but that'll be after a one off result or a few wins at the end of the season that gets all the goldfish memory fans back onside. He'll not have any other reason to wear it. I think in your softening to Wenger you've sight a bit, frankly. - Post No. 108142


A Cornish Gooner  12:43pm 21st Jun 2017

The other day I came across a photo my son had sent me. It was of the back page of a Sunday newspaper. Under the headline 'IT'S BIG SPENDER WENGER' "Arsene Wenger is ready to smash Arsenal's transfer record this week with bids for three of Europe's fastest-rising stars. The news that the club are thinking big, with moves for Real Madrid's ?, Borussia Dortmund's ? and Bayer Leverkusen's ?, will come as a massive relief to Arsenal fans after years of frugality and summers of losing their own stars. Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis promised 'an escalation in our financial firepower' last week and Wenger is convinced he can transform his team into title contenders." The date of the article - June 9th 2013. Plus ca change.. or to quote Shay Given 'It's like deja vu all over again' - Post No. 108145


Yes its Ron  12:55pm 21st Jun 2017

CG and Exeter - i hear you both lads and can see those views. Ive not changed horses re AW though. Dont think that. i just cant be bothered to keep destroying him anymore. Hes there and thats it. I dont think hes there for 2 yrs though. Circs will dictate his departure now or he ll go within that time having been instrumental in bringing in his own replacement. Hammering him now is just wasted energy. We lost the battle but change is afoot, just not as soon as we wd have liked. I made my mind up 7 yrs back about Arsene when i stopped attending. Yes, he kept Henry 18 mths too long. Re Cole, i think Wengers hands were tied about his money and i think AW wanted him to stay. Gallas did look at the time like a decent sop to Coles sale though it never quite materialised agreed. Of course i agree AW s sell by date has long since gone. Youve all heard me on here for yrs on that. I stick to my view of PG and JM though. Their peak yrs have gone in my view. JM is mid 50s. Guardiola has gone to City primarily for the immense salary and i dont think the arab owners will indulge him for too long unless he wins the title and CL pretty quickly. Hes got to fail some where and Man C are historically a bridesmaids Club. They could prove me wrong but i just think theyre at the wrong Clubs. Utds Board arent unanimous in having wanted JM anyway and i dont think Man C will ever be a Barca/ Munich, Madrid type juggernaut. RE Sanchez - hes 29. AFC have to buy well to replace him i agree too. His sale price will decline sharply in 12 mths. RVP - Utd were not a rival when he went there. He didnt stop AFC winning the title. Hes was nigh 30 and had 2 good yrs for us. Wally - dud buy. Dud career. borrowed time. I think we ve hung onto him to see if his stock would rise to maximise a sale on the best terms possible. Should have let Liverpool have him 5 yrs ago when they would have snatched our arm off. Lastly guys, its impossible these days to keep a player who wants out. A high wage doesnt always do it. Players are transient and here today and gone tomrw. Asl are what they are. No direct focus or desire on challenging Chelsea and Utd. We re the Liverpool of the South and i believe that the club will duck in and out of the top 4 places intermittently for the future, whether AWs there or not. Does that make me happy? No. Have i given in to the reality of it? Yes, most certainly. Would i go often to games again if and when AW s gone? No, not even when the Club has impetus again and it will come. They had 41 yrs of me going there. The modern game doesn't do much for me, not very often anyway and AFC have become a very new and modern Club carrying all of the 'values' that todays PL demands. Total respect though to you 2 lads as ever with yr posts and views and im very likely wrong as you say. Time will tell. - Post No. 108147


mbg  14:37pm 21st Jun 2017

Gaz, TOF has said he is so to others he must be or is. wenger out. - Post No. 108152


OneBardGooner  14:49pm 21st Jun 2017

The title of this piece is: "‘General’ Lacazette could lead Gunners to glory".....Sad and sorry to say it is 100% Wrong from the outset. We could sign the eleven worlds best players in their chosen positions, but we would still not nor EVER win the prem league title. Why? because we have a fool in charge..that fool is Arsene Wenger and the only way we will progress as a team and club is to get shot of him. Again; Sadly we now have to endure at least another torturous 2 years of failure and his pathetic attempts to satisfy his ego. #WENGEROUT. - Post No. 108153


A Cornish Gooner  15:13pm 21st Jun 2017

Ron. 'He's there and that's it' Reminds me of the title of a Flat Earth Society Article 'The earth's flat and that's that' A bit defeatist. Should we all also be saying 'May's there and that's it?. (Parts of the Tory manifesto binned today) Wenger might be at Arsenal for two years it's true, but we can still hope for a change in his actions. You seem to be accepting the status quo. We should at least be striving for, as our old friend Baddie suggests, 'Evolution not revolution' - Post No. 108154


mbg  15:24pm 21st Jun 2017

Cornish, yes deja vu alright, TOF's spin department at it's finest and it works every time without fail first turn of the key at the same time every year the engine purrs into life with the sheep following lapping up, sniffing and believing everything that comes out of it's exhaust. wenger out. - Post No. 108156


Yes its Ron  15:35pm 21st Jun 2017

Ha Ha. CG - Good point mate. It sounds defeatist and im not defeatist by nature at all, far from it. AW being at AFC though doesn't get close to the importance of lame duck PMs etc . My take now (Bard has said the same thing too) is that AW having been given the heads up by SK has actually been handed a poisoned chalice. SK hadnt the desire or cajones to remove AW at this juncture i believe, so hes bought time for himself by appointing Wenger again to wait for circumstances to impact upon AW to the point where a resignation or perhaps even a sacking is the easy and obvious choice to EVERYBODY. Lets face it, AW has to change tack and style to avoid the Club slipping further and hes not likely to do that. So, its more the case that im happy to watch things unfold now and hope for earlier change than later. While doing so, they remain 'my team' to follow despite the incumbent bloke in charge still being there. I will say though that i hope AW leaves me with egg on my face having shouted for his removal for a long time. I d sooner Arsenal be successful under AW than have my doubts about Wenger being confirmed. This is why ive perhaps seemingly gone soft on the crusade for change as you suggest. I haven't. Im content now to be at the 'watching brief' stage. Revolver back in holster with the clip on, which in truth i think is where SK is too ironically. Im not sure its all roses in the garden within the corridors of the Club at all that AW has stayed. Its perhaps still a bit acidic in some quarters. Im pretty sure there are a few Board members who are also saying 'hes there and thats it ....... for now" . - Post No. 108157


Exeter Ex  16:23pm 21st Jun 2017

I'm with Ron insofar as I think Wenger will destroy himself before raging against him has any effect. But that doesn't stop legit criticism being made. I don't want any credit given to him that he doesn't deserve e.g. transfers. I differ though in that I'm not hoping he proves me wrong. It's simply not possible, the way he works, the way he refuses to change anything and keeps all power centralised to himself. Like with all dictators, it will only end one way. I can't will Arsenal to win with a man of such hubris, such unfounded arrogance, a liar, a man who blames the supporters for his failure, in charge. That's why I have to classify myself as an observer rather than supporter now. I want this hollow corporate shell masquerading under the name Arsenal Football Club to fail. I hope Wenger is humbled and humiliated, as people like him deserve. And I'm sure he will be. - Post No. 108158


Issue #265 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

31st May 2017

How To Run A Football Club in 2017? Let The Manager Tell The Board How It’s Going To Be

Online Ed: Confirmed – Two more years of purgatory, minimum