OL: the contrasting record of Alexandre Lacazette at Arsenal

OL: the contrasting record of Alexandre Lacazette at Arsenal

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Honorable balance sheet for a “Laca” very appreciated in England. Unsurprisingly, Alexandre Lacazette (31) played his last match with Arsenal against Everton (5-1) on May 22. The French striker has indeed not extended his contract with the Gunners, which expires on June 30. With there a little more astonishment, the tricolor international (16 caps, 3 goals) on the other hand decided to return to Olympique Lyonnais, who had sold him for 53 M€ to the London club in the summer of 2017. Lacazette can at least claim to have left a fine trace of his five-season stay in Her Majesty’s Kingdom.

A mentality that the English are fond of

If there is one thing that our English neighbors will remember, and more particularly the fans of Arsenal, it is the state of mind of Alexandre Lacazette, always 100%. The now ex-No. 9 of the Canonniers quickly won the hearts of his London supporters by displaying a remarkable warrior spirit on the green rectangle. Always thoroughly, both in his races and when it is necessary to go into contact, the native of Lyon has never cheated on the meadow. Despite his modest height (1.76m), he fought great battles against the roughest of the Premier League central defenders, to whom he liked to make life difficult.

Due to his abundance of unconditional energy, the Frenchy knows how to mobilize his troops on the ground. This extra soul, which has done a lot of good for Arsenal over the years, logically earned Alexandre Lacazette the right to inherit the captain’s armband last December, after his friend Pierre Emerick Aubameyang was dismissed. . His sense of natural leadership has also made him a strong figure in the Arsenal locker room. His status at OL, added to the experience acquired in England, will certainly make him a major asset at Groupama Stadium.

Lacazette very valuable in the game…

With his 206 games played with the shirt struck from the cannon (71 goals, 36 assists), Alexandre Lacazette has forged a fine reputation on the other side of the Channel. In addition to his fighting spirit on the pitch, it is also his importance and his influence in the game that will make a mark on the side of the Emirates Stadium. It’s no secret that the 31-year-old center forward likes to get out of the way. Although aligned at the forefront of the Gunners’ attack, we often found him one (or even two) notches lower in order to be able to take the game on his own, touch the leather as much as possible and direct the game to better project oneself. His ability to keep the ball, which will have annoyed more than one defender responsible for scoring “Laca”, was also one of the undeniable qualities on which his partners liked to rely to gain speed.

… but a disappointing performance in front of goal

“Lagachette”, “Lacagoal”, so many nicknames allocated to the French striker in recent years which however remain most paradoxical. Lacazette certainly displays more than decent statistics at the end of these five years spent in England, with four consecutive years with more than 10 goals in the Premier League (he only scored 4 league goals for his last year, in 2021 -2022). His presence in the top 10 of Arsenal’s top scorers in the first division (54 goals) speaks for himself for him, who has never had a full season as a starter in north London in the PL (27 starts maximum, in 18-19).

The only downside, and not the least, the Lyonnais has also struggled a lot in the finish over the past five years. Much less effective than the Gabonese PEA, to whom the difficulties of associating him for the various coaches who have succeeded one another on the Arsenal bench still leave many fans perplexed, Lacazette distinguished himself by his “failures” in front of goal sometimes too regular in the eyes of the Gunners. A lack of realism which can be explained by his style of play, thus keeping him away from the penalty area, or even by his significant expenditure of energy on the ground.

3 trophies with Arsenal

Alexandre Lacazette’s last year remains as a symbol of his time at Arsenal. Since he resumed his place in Mikel Arteta’s XI after the departure of Aubameyang (and therefore the armband at the same time), he has played an oh-so-important role in the series of good results that have allowed the Gunners to get closer to the top 4 in the Premier League, without shining in terms of stats (6 goals and 8 assists in 36 games in all competitions). His best season will remain the second, with 19 goals (and 13 offerings) in 49 appearances in total.

If he will surely regret never having played in the Champions League with Arsenal, but also of course having failed in the Europa League final against Chelsea (1-4) in May 2019, Alexandre Lacazette leaves London with three trophies added to his list: the FA Cup (2020) and the Community Shield (2017 and 2020). A beautiful, busy page is turning in any case for the Frenchman, who hopes to quickly bring his training club back to the fore, in France and in Europe.

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