Arsenal’s attempts to procure a third summer signing is close to bearing fruit after reports claiming that manager Arsene Wenger has initiated talks with the player’s representatives and the parent club of one of Europe’s hottest strikers.
It has been reported by The Telegraph that Arsenal were set to trigger Alexandre Lacazette’s release clause of £34 million.
However, recent reports have emerged suggesting that the Olympique Lyon striker does not have a release clause in his contract but, though the French side will consider a bid from Arsenal. Lacazette has played for Lyon his entire career, right from the youth academy, and made his senior debut in 2010.
He signed a two-year contract extension in 2014 to tie him to his hometown club till 2018. The striker has a return of 54 goals in 84 matches for the club since then. While he managed to score his first international goal for France last year, he couldn’t make it to the final list of four strikers for the European Championship.
The French international who scored 23 goals in 44 games(as per Whoscored) for Lyon last season has also been attracting interest from Arsenal’s London rivals, though the club is reported to have rejected multiple bids for the player from West Ham United.
Given Wenger’s successful history of recruiting young compatriots, and Lacazette’s prolific goal scoring form in Ligue 1 albeit in the shadow of a dominant Paris St. Germain, this could be a deal that could go through to benefit both parties.
Olivier Giroud has shown exceptional awareness playing with a quicker second-striker at Euro 2016 and this could be a genuine option in matches where opposing defenses put men behind the ball. Both strikers sharing the same first language could also improve effective communication and link up play.
Wenger’s initial pursuit of Jamie Vardy signals that the kind of striker he is looking for is someone who can offer pace on the break as well as effective finishing.
Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Alexis Sanchez and Giroud can all link up together for chance creation but Lacazette, by evidence of his three consecutive 20-plus-goals seasons, would definitely add a little more bite in and around the box.