Can Arsenal lure Alexandre Lacazette ahead of Emirates Cup?
If reports are to be believed, France forward Alexandre Lacazette could be lining up for Arsenal (7/1 to retain the FA Cup with Coral) at the Emirates Cup at the end of July. One thing is for sure, Gunners fans should finally get to see the striker up close one way or another, as current club Lyon are the Londoners’ opening opposition.
Whichever team lethal Lacazette, last season’s top scorer in Ligue 1, turns out for, all eyes will be on the sought-after sharpshooter. Will he score, as he usually does of late, against a future or former club?
Crossing the channel can be hard to do, but the 24-year-old could reap rewards at international level if he takes a risk here.
Arsenal already have Olivier Giroud as leading man, and absence made the heart grow fonder after the forward spent much of the early part of last season sidelined through injury and suspension, before coming back with a bang to net nine in 10 Premier League games. Yet by the end of the season the Frenchman was once again illustrating his inconsistencies.
While Lacazette, who can play all across the attacking line, may initially arrive as a foil for his compatriot, he also has every chance of usurping him as main marksman. As one point in a fluid forward three alongside Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott, Arsene Wenger’s apparent target would fit right in.
Having made light work of Ligue 1 with 27 goals and eight assists in 33 outings, if Lacazette can show he is capable of outshining Giroud and lead the Gunners to glory, Bleus boss Didier Deschamps would have to sit up and take notice as he plots a Euro 2016 triumph on home soil.
Eight caps have brought a one goal return so far, with Lacazette out wide last time out in a 4-3-3 spearheaded by Giroud in Karim Benzema’s absence.
Giroud’s ability to act as a focal point and offer something different often sees him as the second port of call for France up top, but a successful season in England’s top tier could see Lacazette become more crucial for club and country.
PSG and Liverpool are also rumoured to be in the mix for the talented marksman, though an extended stay at the Stade de Gerland is not out of the question.
Les Gones have already secured a trio of their youth products, turned promising players, to new deals, with all of Nabil Fekir, Anthony Lopes and Corentin Tolisso inking extensions. Lyon have a project, and Lacazette may not want to miss out.
Club president Jean-Michel Aulas is eager to retain his top attacker and told press recently: “I will meet Alexandre Lacazette, Sam Umtiti and Jordan Ferri on their return. This is to ensure we can confirm the team as it was last year, plus new recruits.”
Losing their most talented home-grown players may not be of benefit for domestic French football, but the national team (4/1 to win Euro 2016) could see their stars make strides by testing themselves on bigger stages, meaning Lacazette’s prospective move could not come at a better time.
Watch Lacazette’s Lyon goals: