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Arsenal break transfer record: Alexandre Lacazette arrives

The Gunners finally spend the big money again on their new forward.

FC Metz v Olympique Lyonnais - Ligue 1
Ace pen taker
Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images

Sometimes you just can’t win and in football that seems the position Arsenal and in particular Arsene Wenger finds themselves. Despite winning the FA Cup for 3 years in 4, failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 20+ years and failing to really challenge for the title has seen many of the Arsenal fans wanting a change. One of the main criticisms was the clubs failure in the transfer marker since the arrival of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Truthfully the club hadn’t really built on that type of transfer since much to the fans annoyance.

Finally then the Gunners have found the funds plus commitment to dip their toes back into the market and in doing so break the club transfer record by signing Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette. It seems though the signing hasn’t got the full support or excitement of the Arsenal fans with opinions divided. Some are complaining that his goal scoring stats are questionable due to him playing in Ligue 1, others that many of the goals have come from the penalty spot and others that he fails to score against the better opposition. Some can’t accept that Olivier GIroud is 1st choice for France over Lacazette. The question then is if Lacazettte isn’t good enough then who do the fans think is, and is that player a signing Arsenal can realistically attract? For me I think there are of course questions on the forward and as ever the biggest opening challenge will be the player adjusting to the Premier League and English culture. Living in London will help as will playing in side that create so many goalscoring opportunities.

Fantasy thoughts

His stats do read well with 28 goals in 30 league games for Lyon in 2016/17. It’s true he did score a high number of penalties but he did successfully score them. Arsenal have been without a reliable spot kick master since Santi Cazorla’s injury troubles and with the attacking pressure Arsenal put on teams Lacazette would seem certain to get chances to add to his successful penalty stats and that’s always a temptation when picking a fantasy team. With Harry Kanes price predicted to be 13m in next week’s FPL launch some will look for potential better value forwards. Lacazette at 10m sounds about right and with no Champions League football as a distraction we will see the record signing as a potentially safe to start forward choice who has a nice little opening run of games to start the season.

Lacazette is a player with pace but one who tends to drift into the channels and come deep linking play. Taking a look at the video below showing much of his highlight work are great moments of team work rather than him flying past the central defenders and slotting the ball into the net. He is a hard working player, with excellent close control, excellent movement and one who seems well aware of his teammates positions in the system. Wenger may have plans to adapt his game to look to run in behind more often to best exploit the fantastic weighted passes of Ozil. Initially though he strikes me as a player who will increase the value for the supporting attacking players such as Ozil, Sanchez and in particular Aaron Ramsey. In the new system Wenger used successfully late in the 2016/17 Ramsey was free to make the trademark runs from deep he was well known for in previous seasons. With Lacazette’s style is opens up the thought that the support players will benefit with Ramsey maybe the surprise value of the Gunner midfield.

How do you see the transfer both for Arsenal and his fantasy impact?