Arsenal have had a characteristically quiet transfer window despite being linked with a number of high profile names. However, the Gunners recently received a major boost as Lyon manager Bruno Genesio admitted that star striker Alexandre Lacazette could leave the club this summer.
Signing a top quality striker has been Arsenal’s primary objective this summer and one of their key targets has been Olympique Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette. The Ligue 1 club have thus far rejected the Gunners’ advances, but club manager Bruno Genesio recently opened the door for the striker to potentially leave the club this summer.
“He can leave if Lyon want him to,” said the Lyon manager, according to Sky Sports. “There are some offers that you cannot refuse. My desire as manager is that the best players stay and Lacazette is very important for the team.
“I have been assured by my president that we will keep the player. You never know what could happen right up until August 31.”
Arsenal have already seen a bid of £29 million rejected, with Lyon demanding at least £40 million for their star striker. The Gunners’ London rivals West Ham are also very interested in the 25-year-old striker and have already met the asking price. However, the Hammers were rejected by the Ligue 1 side, with Lacazette believed to only be interested in joining a Champions League club.
The Gunners already have an established France international striker in Olivier Giroud, but the 29-year-old’s inconsistency has been a major reason behind Arsene Wenger’s search for a new man up front. However, the statistics show that Giroud is not as bad as many Arsenal fans believe him to be. Lacazette scored 21 goals in Ligue 1 last season, while Giroud scored 16, but the latter had 101 shots on goal compared to the former’s 95 attempts. The Lyon striker is only marginally ahead in shot accuracy with 57% of his shots on target compared to Giroud’s 54% (stats courtesy of Squawka).
An advantage Giroud has over Lacazette is his strength in the air. The Arsenal striker scored 7 headed goals in the league last season compared to Lacazette’s tally of 2. The competitiveness of the Premier League in comparison to Ligue 1 is an additional factor to be considered in a comparison between the two Frenchmen, but Lacazette is also much younger than Giroud and could provide a viable long term solution to Arsenal’s striking woes.