Another game and another goal for Alexandre Lacazette! The little man with a big presence is creating quite an appetite for fans to see just how many goals he can score when given the chances. From initial limited opportunities, Lacazette has already scored two league goals from three starts.
Lacazette is class personified. The elegance of the number 9’s goal versus Bournemouth alludes to his poise, requiring just one touch to get the ball out of his feet and setting up for a devastatingly cool finish while outside Bournemouth’s box. In addition his celebrations exemplify his calmness even after scoring, remaining serene and just embracing the crowd and plaudits. His interchange with the team is second to none, often moving the ball forward with his first touch; forming a bond with players such as Özil and Ramsey which will only increase. With a pass success rate of 81.3%, it’s clear that he possesses the free flowing football often attributed to players of Arsenal.
However, it is not only Lacazette’s offensive play and clinical finishing which has caught the eye of supporters. His high work ethic is exemplified from his eagerness to track back and make interceptions. From Saturday’s game against Bournemouth, Lacazette was the one who caught Gosling in possession, allowing Ramsey to gather the ball before sliding it to Welbeck for his second goal. In the Community Shield, it was also Lacazette who started possession versus Chelsea, turning defence into attack, before the chance culminated with himself striking the post. It is this hard work from the front line of the team which allows the ball to be won high up the pitch, therefore meaning a quick transition from defence to attack comes into fruition, usually resulting in the opposition being caught out and thus a goal scoring opportunity.
Another intriguing topic of discussion is how Lacazette himself and Alexis Sanchez have yet to play together. This only enhances the view that Lacazette was perhaps seen as a direct replacement for Alexis, especially seeing that he had to settle for a place on the bench when Alexis started at Anfield, not to mention he is occasionally deployed on the left to accommodate Olivier Giroud in the latter stages of games. Perhaps Wenger is concerned with the balance of the Arsenal attack if both players are on the pitch at the same time; both are from a similar mould of incredible technical ability but possibly don’t hold the physical prowess of someone like Danny Welbeck for example. Despite this, it is still frightening for Arsenal fans to imagine both of these great players leading the frontline and is something we will have to see plan out, leaving a dilemma for selection for this weekends game at Stamford Bridge.
Moving forward, Arsenal simply have to find Lacazette more. With an average of 1.5 shots a game, it’s frightening to think just how many goals the Frenchman can grab if given more service. When called upon, he has delivered, showing his instinctive attacking mentality all world class strikers possess; from his glancing header against Leicester to his beautifully curling effort past a hopeless Begovic (not to mention his turn and shot v Stoke which rifled the net and should’ve counted!). It is clear in Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal hold a striker capable of reaching the 30 league goals a season mark, it’s now time for the team to deliver the chances so he can fulfil this potential! This is a promising start which can hopefully grow into filling the gap which has been gaping for years, since the days of Robin van Persie, a clinical striker who can finish Arsenal’s chances!