Arsenal have announced their club record capture of Alexandre Lacazette from Ligue 1 outfit Lyon. The France international was a well established face in the side, having made 203 appearances for the club since his debut in 2010.
The transfer fee surpasses the £42.4m the Gunners paid to Real Madrid to secure the services of Mesut Ozil four years ago, and signals a real statement of intent from Arsene Wenger and co that they will be aiming for more silverware this season.
With transfer fees having been on a steady rise over the past decade or so, sums the likes of these would have been world-shattering back in the day. These days, however, £46.5m is just about only half the world record fee Man United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba last year, and as a result Lacazette could prove himself to be one of the biggest bargains of the summer.
Shirt sales will surely have plenty of personalised Lacazette products behind them, and of course it adds to Arsenal’s pre-existing worldwide visibility, thus potentially increasing their fan base. Commercially, there can be little doubt that this deal will prove successful.
But will his on-field performances back that up to give a double-edged sword to his new manager? Wenger has been criticised often in the past for being somewhat conservative when it comes to transfers, but Ozil has proven a popular figure in north London since his arrival. All the signs point to Lacazette doing just the same.
Overall, he bagged 100 goals for Lyon – averaging almost one in two. That is an impressive record for any player to maintain over a seven year period, let along in the top flight of one of Europe’s most successful footballing countries.
Just last season alone – using the stats here on EuroFantasyLeague as a guide – he tallied a massive 113 points, making himself the 7th best striker in the entire game overall. His 13.00m valuation did ensure only 1% of fantasy managers selected him – had that been at half the level then his uptake would surely have been considerably more – but 28 goals from 28 starts mean many will likely put him straight into their fantasy squads next season.
Only three yellow cards were presented to him over the duration of the season too. While that was the most of Lyon’s three strikers, it is still a comfortably low number that shows Lacazette isn’t all that risky an investment. In real-life terms, Wenger likely knows this is the situation as well, and so the 26-year-old will be welcomed with open arms.
At £46.5m, he shouldn’t be made to feel pressured by a decent sized transfer fee. To the contrary, he is likely to prove a huge bargain and one that could breathe new life into the club, and offer a renewed sense of optimism in the stands at the Emirates.
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