Arsenal are set for a period of transition this summer that could see a number of changes take place at the Emirates Stadium- but they’ll be keen to make some improvements to the squad.
The Daily Star, reporting via Spanish outlet Marca, state Arsenal are ready to go toe-to-toe with Atletico Madrid for the services of Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, with the La Liga giants targeting the French striker as a potential replacement for Antoine Griezmann.
Griezmann continues to attract the interest of a host of top sides and Atletico could lose his services this summer, whilst Kevin Gameiro’s services could also be lost amidst continued interest in the striker from China.
However, Arsenal are not prepared to end their long-term pursuit of Lacazette and are eyeing the striker as a top-class addition this summer, which could be necessary if the Gunners lose the services of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in the close-season.
How important is Lacazette?
For a side that once boasted Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Sylvain Wiltord and Nwankwo Kanu all in one squad, having only Olivier Giroud as a senior recognised striker within the squad is certainly an issue- and it’s something Arsenal need to fix this summer.
Regardless or not of whether Alexis Sanchez stays at Arsenal, the Gunners need a striker who can lead the line for the duration of the season and guarantee at least twenty goals a season- something Lacazette can do with ease.
With an impressive 95 goals in 198 Ligue 1 appearances, including 23 in 24 this season, Lacazette has established himself as one of the deadliest strikers on the continent and he could genuinely be the forward that gets Arsenal out of their slump and towards further success.
Crucially, the signing of Lacazette could also allow Arsenal to shift away from the 4-2-3-1 formation that the Gunners have become accustomed to in recent seasons and it would be a good move, as it’s fair to say the formation doesn’t quite work.
How would Lacazette fit in?
The question is whether Alexis Sanchez or Mesut Ozil remain at the club as, if both do, Lacazette would sit in attack of the current 4-2-3-1 formation. If Ozil leaves and Alexis stays, Lacazette could play centrally in a 4-3-3. If Alexis goes and Ozil stays, then the formation could shift again.
Lacazette is the sort of striker who is capable of excelling in a lone role, with a partner, supported by two wingers or supported from deep. Whether Alexis and Ozil are there or not, Lacazette would become an instant hit at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal would probably have to play a club-record fee for Lacazette and whilst some may argue that would be overpriced, his value for the Gunners would certainly make a deal worthwhile.