Arsenal smashed their transfer record to sign Alex Lacazette last summer from Lyon. The Frenchman has bagged 23 goals and assists since joining the Gunners but being benched for the opening 3 consecutive premier league fixtures left fans in a frenzy of confusion and fear of the 27 year old leaving the club.
Lacazette's performance in numbers against Cardiff City
5 shots on goal, 3 on target
1 goal, 1 assist
3 key passes, 33 passes, 72.7% overall accuracy pic.twitter.com/wZWiMkKdH3
— Emery's new era ?? (@tomgunner14) September 3, 2018
The French international scored 37 goals in all competitions for the Lyon the season before joining Arsenal, netting 20+ goals for the third consecutive season and a total of 129 goals in 275 appearances. From the 2013-14 season till 2017-18, Alex Lacazette is the 5th highest goalscorer in all leagues across Europe with 91 goals in 133 games. From these stats it’s crystal clear that the 27-year-old is a proven goal machine.
Moreover, since joining the North Londoners, the striker has being involved gives a higher win percentage as is shown below:
A look at Arsenal's Premier League performances with and without Alexandre Lacazette starting — Should he be a first team regular for the Gunners?
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) September 7, 2018
Arsenal legend Martin Keown has hailed Alex Lacazette’s attitude and believes that the team should be built around him. As per Daily Mail, he said:
“I think special mention has to go to Alexandre Lacazette. How patient has that man been? His attitude has been impeccable. He failed to make the French squad for the World Cup then watched from afar as they went on to lift the trophy in Russia.
“Emery used him as a substitute in his first three Premier League matches, then he finally gets to start against Cardiff. So, what does he do? He goes and scores the winner. Lacazette now has to play and be the person they build around. Full credit to him.”
However, despite not being given sufficient game time, Alex Lacazette insists he never considered an exit. He told reporters after starring in south Wales: “I don’t know who said this stuff, but I am at one of the best clubs in London and I am happy at Arsenal. It’s always going to be hard to be in the first XI at a club like this, but I always keep fighting and working. I won’t play every week just because of one game. Every day I have to work and show the coach I work well and I deserve my place.”
One of the major problems obstructing Alex Lacazette’s entry in the starting XI is the presence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. SkySports pundit Jamie Carragher even said,”I could actually see Alex Lacazette moving on in the summer” following the arrival of the Gabon international. Although the pair when playing together are red-hot in form and complement each other, Unai Emery has started the 2 strikers just one in four matches.
— Tribal Football (@tribalfootball) February 2, 2018
I believe Alex Lacazette is a proven goalscorer with the potential to do wonders for Arsenal. His winner against Cardiff showed when given a start, he will deliver. The cost of starting the former Lyon star is to relegate Mkhitaryan to the bench but if that means winning matches and getting the best out of the 2 of the league’s best strikers then why not?
Alex Lacazette’s patience has been commendable but with the fans backing him and the player bagging a goal and an assist in his first start of the season will definitely put pressure under Emery to start him.