2015-16 represented Arsenal’s best chance at winning the title. Their main rivals were going through turbulent times. However, Leicester City managed to show the class and confidence one would expect from the Gunners and got the Premier League trophy. One of the major reasons why Arsenal could not end their title drought was because of the striker problem.
Wenger seems ready to find a solution to that problem. He made a move for Jamie Vardy early in the summer window; however, the player decided to stay put at Leicester. Wenger has reportedly tabled a bid for Alexandre Lacazette. Here are three reasons why Arsenal must land the player.
Lacazette has proved his consistency
Two years back, spending £40m on Lacazette could have been considered foolish. The risk of a “one season wonder”, “flash in the pan” would have certainly been present. However, Lacazette has proved he is more than that. After breaking out in the 2013/14 season, scoring 15 league goals and grabbing 3 assists, he followed that with an emphatic season where he registered a whopping 27 league goals 6 assists. Such a brilliant season obviously got him a lot of attention but he stayed put. Last season, he didn’t start off too well but eventually picked up form and ended the league with 21 goals and another 3 assists.
Therefore, he has proved he is not a one season wonder and can be on the scoresheet consistently. The fact that he turned last season around also speaks plenty about his mentality and character.
Olivier Giroud cannot carry the Gunners alone
The fact that Didier Deschamps ignored Lacazette for the Euro 2016 competition and had Giroud as his main striker only indicates the type of striker suited for Deschamps’ system, big, strong and able to hold up the ball rather than nimble and more suited to playing in behind.
Olivier Giroud has often been criticized for not having the ability to lead the Gunners for the entirety of the season, something that was probably proved last season. Danny Welbeck is out injured for a significant amount of time so Arsenal are evidently lacking in this department at the moment.
In terms of statistics, Lacazette outperformed Giroud in every department last season. The Arsenal striker scored 16 goals, which is not a particularly bad number if there is another striker available to shoulder that burden. Arsenal need someone to shoulder that responsibility with the Frenchman and Lacazette could be exactly that.
Lacazette could play out wide
The player operates best in the 4-4-2 system and isn’t the type Wenger has fielded in recent years so Wenger would have to his system completely. Or he could use the Frenchman out wide in a Theo Walcott way. Lacazette has played out wide earlier in his career and knows how to be that type of a forward – someone who can cut inside and support the striker, something Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez regularly did at Liverpool in their successful 2013/14 campaign.
This would enable Wenger to not necessarily alter his formation and field both Giroud and Lacazette simultaneously if he wishes to. Of course, Wenger can field just Lacazette as the lone striker and see what kind of results that extracts.