Earlier in the week, Arsenal landed former Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette in a deal that could be worth up to £52.6 million based on performance add-ons. The base fee of £46.5 million for the forward would still set the north London club’s transfer record, previously held by Mesut Ozil (2013).
The 26-year-old Lacazette is the exact type of striker the Gunners have been needing since Robin van Persie departed for Manchester United nearly five years ago. Quick, precise, skillful, and deadly are all accurate adjectives to describe the Frenchman. While current Gunners Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott, and Lucas Perez are all capable strikers, none of them are as well-rounded as the team’s new signing.
Statistically, Lacazette is a an absolute monster. In the previous three seasons combined, the Frenchman has managed to score an impressive 91 goals in 129 total games. That’s averaging a goal every 117 minutes when he is on the pitch. As spectacular as his goalscoring numbers are, Lacazette can also distribute well to his teammates from up top. During his final campaign with Lyon, the Frenchman created 46 chances in league play. This was a higher rate than Sergio Aguero, Diego Costa, and Harry Kane, despite Lacazette playing fewer minutes than the trio of Premier League players.
Despite these statistics, some say that the French top flight is not a top league, and decent strikers can easily have their way with a majority of the Ligue 1. However, Lacazette has proven himself to be a very reliable striker even against his toughest opponents. In 31 combined matches against Juventus, Sevilla, Roma, Besiktas, Ajax, Valencia, PSG, Monaco, Marseille, and Nice over the last three seasons, Lacazette has managed to net 19 goals.
So how will he fare with Arsenal? That’s obviously tough to predict, but his attributes appear to suit the Gunners particularly well. Manager Arsene Wenger deploys a wonderfully fluid attack that aches for a striker of Lacazette’s quality. Against the other top clubs in the Premier League, Arsenal tend to sit back at times and hit on the counter attack. This style would also feed into Lacazette’s game. With a potential front three of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, and Lacazette, Wenger could be looking at one of the most electric attacks in England.
Arsenal can also afford to sit back defensively a bit when they are feeling the pressure. Since switching to the 3-4-3 formation for their final 10 games of the season, the north London outfit have only let in seven goals and also collected nine victories in the same span.