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Premier League: Alexandre Lacazette could be a Golden signing for Gunners

Alexandre Lacazette could set the Premier League alight
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Arsenal look set to break their transfer record in the coming days to secure the services of one of Europe's deadliest strikers. Here, our new football columnist - and Gunners fan - Jon Moody looks ahead at what we can expect from Alexandre Lacazette...

"In total, the Frenchman has 129 goals in 275 appearances for his boyhood club. But Alexander The Great (as some of the press in his native country have referred to him) has exploded since the start of 2013/14, scoring 22 or more goals every single season."

When your club is about to drop a record £50m on a renowned, proven goalscorer from one of Europe's top leagues, you'd think the fanbase would be united in excitement.

Except, perhaps (un)surprisingly, Arsenal fans really don't seem to be.

Whether it's the fact he isn't costing £125m or the harsh reality he had the misfortune of not being named Kylian Mbappe, I'm not so sure, but I really think we all have cause to be thrilled by the incoming arrival of Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette.

Although the 26-year-old Frenchman is yet to officially sign on the dotted line for the Gunners, it appears just a matter of crossing the Ts and dotting the lower case Js before he becomes the Gunners' record signing in what will surely turn out to be the biggest - and most important - transfer windows in Arsene Wenger's 21-year spell at the helm.

Despite the naysayers, the signing of a man already one of the Golden Boot favourites for next season, at 8/1 is genuinely exciting.

To highlight the benefits he'll bring to his new team, let's break down the key ingredients of what will make Lacazette a goalscoring success at Arsenal.


1) The competition and system


Lacazette will be coming into an Arsenal team which has for far too long been shorn of a deadly striker with an explosive turn of pace, traits which the 11-times capped striker possesses in abundance.

While some may, rightly or wrongly, argue that his compatriot and current Arsenal target man Olivier Giroud is the better all-round player out of the two, that simply doesn't translate to effectiveness on the pitch.

Take Arsenal's ill-fated 2007/08 campaign, for example. The legendary Thierry Henry left for the sunnier climes of Barcelona in the summer and Wenger looked to Emmanuel Adebayor as his internal replacement.

There's no question the Togolese was the inferior player, yet he smashed in 30 goals in 48 appearances - helped by his partnerships with Robin van Persie and Eduardo and the team's style of play at the time. He probably missed 10 sitters on top of that, too.

Quality as the incumbent Arsenal man may be, he fundamentally doesn't suit Arsenal's style of play. There's no reason Lacazette can have a powerful impact on a team which plays to his strengths right from the off. Especially if he's helped by this man...


2) The Ozil factor


The whispers that Mesut Ozil is to agree a new long-term deal at the club are getting louder and Lacazette provides the perfect foil for the mercurial German; there's genuine opportunity to have goals laid on a plate at will, should both men hit it off in the red and white.

After Ozil arrived to great fanfare in 2013, it looked as if Theo Walcott would be the man who could break behind the backline and finish off the German's deft, defence-splitting through balls, but that partnership never got going regularly.

Lacazette could well be the man who starts making the most of Ozil's magic vision.


3) His deadly eye for goal


Of course, his numbers in front of goal speak volumes.

In total, the Frenchman has 129 goals in 275 appearances for his boyhood club. But Alexander The Great (as some of the press in his native country have referred to him) has exploded since the start of 2013/14, scoring 22 or more goals every single season.

The most recent campaign was his most efficient, hitting the back of the net a whopping 37 times in 45 appearances. What's more, his shot conversion rate in 2016/17 was better than any other player in Europe who scored more than 20 goals. Sorry, Cristiano.


4)Spot-kick duties


Almost a fifth of his 129 strikes at Lyon have come from the penalty spot, and you wouldn't want to bet against him taking on the spot-kick duties at his new club next season.

Considering Arsenal were in the top-half for Premier League penalty awards last season with six altogether (missing two of those), it's a smart bet Lacazette's potential tally next season could be boosted from 12 yards.


5) The Golden Boot?


There's no doubting the potential Alexandre Lacazette has in next season's Premier League. He's already trading at 8/1 in the Golden Boot market on the Sportsbook, behind competition such as Sergio Aguero, Romelu Lukaku and 11/4 favourite Harry Kane.

But when you consider Lacazette's numbers, the performances he'll need to put in to secure his space on Les Bleus' plane to Russia in 2018 and and factor in Arsene Wenger's history with quick, lethal finishers who hail from France, a punt on him lifting the Golden Boot certainly looks a wise one right now.

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