Olympique Lyonnais striker Alexandre Lacazette has been in terrific form this season for the Ligue 1 side, and has demonstrated his quality consistently over the past few seasons. Naturally, his emergence as a top-tier striker in Europe has attracted strong interest from a host of Premier League sides.
Alexandre Lacazette’s Premier League Interest
Earlier this year, Lacazette announced his desire to leave Lyon, the club he’s been at since 2010, to take the next step in his career. English football naturally seems a good fit for someone of his quality, and he could fit in with a number of teams.
French football journalist Julien Laurens spoke on BT Sport last month about how he expects Lacazette to sign with a Premier League club, mentioning Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool. The interest is clear, although clubs will most likely have to pay £40-50 million for his services – the going rate for top-quality strikers these days.
Lacazette at Lyon
The 25-year-old is from Lyon, playing for his home-town club for the past seven years. He began to really pick up his goalscoring talents in the 2013-14 season after gaining more regular starts as a centre-forward, after being used in various forward positions and out wide in his early years at the club.
In the 2013-14 season, the striker netted 21 goals across all competitions. Since then, he scored 31 goals in 2014-15, 23 goals in 2015-16 and now 28 goals and counting in the current term – with 22 of those goals coming in Ligue 1. This year Lacazette has created 39 chances to accompany his impressive goalscoring tally, as well as clocking up three assists for Bruno Génésio’s side, who currently sit fourth in the French league.
Lyon usually play variations of the 4-3-3 formation, occasionally moving into a 4-2-3-1 as well. Lacazette is the talismanic forward who leads the line for the team. The Frenchman is a skilful, pacey forward with good physical attributes too. Not only is his movement and speed integral to Lyon’s attacking success, but the fact that he is working on his hold-up play can give the side a different element depending on situations and opponents.
He can drop deep and make key passes, as well as play off the last man and use his lethal finishing ability in front of goal. It’s clear why he’s fast becoming one of Europe’s elite centre-forwards, as several destinations in the English top flight could be possible.
The Gunners’ problem has been clear for a few years now. One of the key areas of the team they have been lacking has been a true out and out striker. Olivier Giroud can contribute well off the bench, with Alexis Sánchez performing well there this year, scoring 17 league goals and making nine assists.
However, a consistent goalscorer such as Lacazette, should they keep the likes of Sánchez and Mesut Özil, may just help them maintain a serious title challenge once again. Sánchez can drop deeper and play alongside the likes of Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott, with Lacazette providing the goals.
Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino has done an admirable job in the false nine role for Jürgen Klopp’s side, scoring nine goals and picking up four assists in the league. However, though the Reds remain the top scorers in the league, they still lack a consistent goalscorer to take them to the next level.
Lacazette would be a perfect fit. Playing in the 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 formations at Lyon, his role would fit very well with the team. The creative players Liverpool have would be able to provide for him consistently, and he could bag plenty of goals for the Anfield side, possibly making them more sustained and regular title contenders.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side and style of football, much like with Klopp and Liverpool, would make Lacazette a good fit at Spurs. Tottenham are a club that seem to be building something potentially very special.
Striker Harry Kane is so integral to the North Londoners’ success, and currently has 19 Premier League goals and four assists. However, the injury he picked up against Millwall last week, plus the poor form of Vincent Janssen, has highlighted the possible need for quality reinforcements.
Lacazette at Spurs could even create a formidable striker partnership with Kane, with the likes of Christian Eriksen, Delle Alli and forward-thinking full-backs Kyle Walker and Danny Rose supplying the strikers with plenty of opportunities.
Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimović has been phenomenal this year for Jose Mourinho’s United side, netting 15 goals and clocking up four assists in the league. However, there are still questions over whether he will return next year, with Champions League football far from guaranteed for the Old Trafford side.
Should Ibrahimović and United part ways after this fantastic season for the 35-year-old, Lacazette would bring a very different element to the side. His pace, skill and clinical finishing as a centre-forward would help the club for upcoming seasons, whilst Mourinho looks to reinforce the side and mount a serious title challenge next season.
Similarly, there still aren’t any guarantees over Sergio Agüero’s future over on the blue side of Manchester. The Argentinian has 12 goals this season in the Premier League, but City’s failure to challenge in the Champions League in particular may lead to the striker moving on elsewhere in the coming months.
If so, Pep Guardiola would love to have a striker like Lacazette in the team. Pacey wingers Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling can beat defenders in wide areas and play balls in for the Frenchman to finish. Additionally, the creative players in central areas such as Kevin De Bruyne will be able to play balls in behind for him.
A signing like Lacazette would help Manchester City maintain their successes in attack, and help them to push on under the legendary Catalan manager.
The Last Word
With Lacazette most likely leaving Lyon, these are some examples of Premier League sides that have expressed interest in the French forward. It will be intriguing to see where he takes the next step in his career, with these teams battling it out for his signature.
Should Alexandre Lacazette continue the prolific form he’s showing at the moment, he can be an elite striker for the years ahead.