The Hard Tackle takes a look at three ideal destinations for Alexandre Lacazette, as Arsenal look to offload the Frenchman this summer.
As we head towards the final phase of July, Premier League clubs have stepped up their preparations for the new seasons. But unlike most clubs, Arsenal are still yet to find an identifiable core in their setup as Mikel Arteta continues to rely on the market for reinforcements in the summer.
The Gunners have brought in Nuno Tavares and, most recently, Albert Sambi Lokonga. But they have failed to attract any big-name signing so far. And to make such an acquisition, they may have to let go of some of their star players and free up the wage bill.
According to Transfer Window Podcast, as cited by Mirror, one of the potential candidates to leave Emirates this summer is Alexandre Lacazette. The forward has fallen out of favour at Arsenal after struggling to replicate the form that made him one of the most clinical strikers in Europe during his time at Lyon.
Since joining the Gunners for €53 million, Lacazette has failed to score 15 or more goals in a single Premier League campaign in any of his four seasons at the club. His lack of consistency in front of goal, coupled with his contract that expires at the end of next season, has now forced the club to consider a permanent sale.
The Hard Tackle now takes a look at three clubs where Alexandre Lacazette should end up this summer, as the Frenchman hopes to take the next step in his career.
A Route Back Home: Olympique Lyon
Players returning to their former clubs after a disappointing spell elsewhere in an attempt to revive their respective careers is a glorified phenomenon in the world of football. However, in the case of Alexandre Lacazette, a route back to Lyon would make a world of sense for multiple reasons.
Narrowly missing out on the UEFA Champions League last season, Les Gones are still licking their wounds after the departure of star player Memphis Depay. The Dutchman’s move to FC Barcelona has created a massive void in the club’s attacking department, with the returning striker Moussa Dembele also unlikely to remain in Lyon.
Therefore, newly-appointed head coach Peter Bosz will be crying out for a new centre-forward to fill that hole. And very few fit the bill as well as Lacazette.
A native of Lyon, the Frenchman spent 14 years at the club before joining Arsenal in 2017. During his professional stay at Groupama Stadium, Lacazette made 275 competitive appearances, scoring 129 goals. Under his attacking leadership, Lyon were consistently the second biggest club in France and, along with AS Monaco, one of the two main rivals for Paris Saint-Germain.
The Arsenal striker is quite familiar with the club’s footballing philosophy and is a tailor-made fit for the French top-flight. He shouldn’t find any real difficulties securing regular game-time either, as there is a dearth of options in the goalscoring department.
Should Dembele leave the club, Lyon’s only viable option in the number nine role is Islam Slimani. Lacazette could be a challenging competitor for the former Leicester City forward, who is likely to serve as the main alternative for the Frenchman, in case he does return to France.
A Logical Destination: Sevilla
While a return to Lyon is certainly an exciting prospect for Alexandre Lacazette, the Ligue 1 giants are expected to face many difficulties in sanctioning the move. They are suffering from an economic crisis, thanks to the pandemic and may not even be able to afford the striker’s wages.
That is where Sevilla comes into the picture, making a case for being a logical destination for Lacazette. After all, they too are in the market for reinforcements in the goalscoring department, as Julen Lopetegui hopes to find an upgrade over Luuk de Jong, who has had difficulties in securing regular game-time.
Unlike Lyon, Sevilla do have a talented centre-forward in Youssef En-Nesyri. However, the Moroccan international is facing an uncertain future at the club. He has been linked with a move to West Ham United this summer, and it won’t be surprising if the 24-year-old leaves the club if he can continue his excellent form in front of goal next season.
It accentuates the need for a new centre-forward for Sevilla this summer, as they look to mount a challenge for the league title in the upcoming season. Lacazette, in that regard, appears to be an ideal option given his wealth of experience at the highest level of football that adds some healthy variety in the club’s attacking department.
Perhaps more importantly, the Frenchman will find himself more comfortable in the more tactically astute Spanish league. The low intensity, the patient approach should appease the forward, who himself is quite capable of playing quick one-twos in and around the penalty area and using quick bursts of speed to deceive the opposition defenders.
Sevilla can also afford to sign the Arsenal forward, especially if they manage to offload one of their star players in Jules Kounde. The highly-rated defender is a target for Tottenham Hotspur, among many other clubs in Europe.
The Dream Option: Juventus
While Sevilla and Olympique Lyon are both top clubs in their respective leagues, Alexandre Lacazette will certainly favour a move to an absolute giant in European football. Unfortunately, his lack of consistency and struggles at Arsenal makes him an unfavourable target for most clubs, including the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Chelsea.
However, the 30-year-old does have a slight avenue of joining Juventus, who are currently in the market for a quick fix in the attack. The Bianconeri are in a precarious situation with all of their three-star forwards in Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala facing an uncertain future at the club.
The club has also appeared far too over-reliant on the services of Ronaldo, as far as productivity is concerned. As such, they need to prepare for a future without the Portuguese sensation, whose contract in Turin expires next summer. In fact, it won’t be a surprise to see the former Real Madrid icon leaving the club before the end of the ongoing transfer market.
Even if Ronaldo remains at Juve, the lack of productivity from Alvaro Morata was a vital reason behind their failure in Serie A last season. Therefore, newly-appointed manager Massimiliano Allegri needs to find a quick solution in the goalscoring department, someone who can support Ronaldo with productivity.
Lacazette is an ideal option due to his pedigree at the highest level of football. The forward shouldn’t find it difficult to settle himself quickly into Italian top-flight, while his positive goalscoring record in the French top-flight bodes well for the club.
The Frenchman is certainly better suited as a strike partner for Ronaldo due to his selfless nature in front of goal. Moreover, he can run into channels, thereby attracting defenders that allow spaces for his teammates. And with his contract expiring in 2022, Lacazette may indeed be a bargain for Juventus this summer.