To shine in the centre forward role, there are more attributes that managers look for in a player in today’s game. Goal scoring is certainly fundamental but hold up play, and the ability to link midfield and attack is just as important. Eventually, I believe Arteta wants to play a 4-3-3 system, with two attacking midfielders drifting in between the lines. The centre forward has to be able to drop deep and provide a link. Firmino does it for Liverpool and Martial does the same for United. Aguero also provides a similar influence in this aspect, as his low centre of gravity allows him to occupy players and bring others in to play.
This is why Aubameyang isn’t playing through the middle. Despite Mikel saying how highly he values Lacazette, there are rumours surfacing that he could be sold since he is moving towards his final two years of his contract. So let’s assume he leaves. My ideal replacement is Odsonne Edouard who has been linked with Arsenal, Leicester and Leeds it seems.
Obviously, the clear standout aspect in Edouard’s game is his ruthless nature in front of goal. Statistically, in terms of goals/assists, his productivity and influence is apparent.
2019-2020 Scottish premier league statistics
G/A every 70 minutes
His output is what has drawn attention across many clubs within Europe. Compared to Lacazette, he is far more productive and lethal. There definitely is the argument that the level of the Scottish league is significantly lower, compared to the major leagues across Europe. But there is no denying that his finishing is of the highest order and if he did move to Arsenal, the supply lines and quality of players surrounding him would be greater which therefore would provide him with the opportunity of more goal scoring opportunities.
Possesses all the ingredients to be a complete centre forward
His all round play fits the criteria Arteta looks for in a centre forward. Standing at 6ft 2in, he competes well in aerial duels and his ability to hold the ball, link midfield and attack is underrated. What I like about him is his unpredictable style of play. He can easily drop in between the lines, hold off players with his physical presence and bring others around him into the game. But what he also possesses is a quick burst of pace, and is very effective and dangerous in making runs in behind, whether that’s centrally or through the channels.
This is one of the differences between Lacazette and him. Arsenal’s current No.9 has showed to be extremely effective with his hold up play, but in terms of his off the ball movement, he is a lot more predictable compared to Edouard. Greater comparisons can be drawn from statistics shown below. The numbers clearly show that he has the potential to be an upgrade.
Goals per 90: 0.90
Assists per 90: 0.39
Shots on target percentage: 45%
Shots per 90: 4.29
Shots on target per 90: 1.93
Goals per shot on target: 0.47
Goals per 90: 0.48
Assists per 90: 0.19
Shots on target percentage: 49.1%
Shots per 90: 2.55
Shots on target per 90: 1.25
Goals per shot on target: 0.38
What I really like about him is that his first instinct is always to get a shot away, whenever an opportunity arises. As shown above, during the 2019/20 season, he averages 4.29 shots per 90 which would see him rank high amongst the strikers in the Premier League.
Furthermore, his ability as a creator is another asset to his game. In terms of key passes, he averages 1.8 per game. His 9 assists in the 2019/20 Scottish Premiership season provides further evidence that goal scoring is only one of many aspects he possesses to his game.
He’s also very good with the ball at his feet, and has the ability to go past players with his strong dribbling ability. Statistically, he averages 7 dribbles per 90, which shows that he is very capable as a ball carrier.
Speaking to Celtic fans, they believe that he has all the attributes to provide consistency at a top European club. His composure/calmness when he has an opportunity to make the difference, whether thats through goals or assists, for someone still so young is impressive.
Excellent in tight spaces along and with possessing good awareness of his surroundings. The new SPL season has commenced and it didn’t take long for Edouard to make an impact.
He bagged a hat trick in his first appearance of the new season. His first goal epitomises the role needed from your centre forward in todays game. He drops in between the lines and in a pocket of space to receive the ball. He then lays it of to the player out wide on the left. The notable difference to Lacazette is the next phase. His sharpness and quick burst of pace, along with his desire to make the run around the CB, enabled him to be on the end of a tap in. I don’t see this enough from Lacazette. The build up play from our French number 9 is quality, but the next phase is what has been lacking in his game on a consistent basis.
Still only 22 years old and I believe a club like Arsenal could be the next step in his career. Under Arteta, his qualities and attributes can be further refined.
Previous rumours stated that £40M could be enough to acquire his services. Lacazette is now 29 and is moving towards the last two years of his contract. His value will start to decline significantly so I would look to move him on this summer. Juventus are said to be keen on him and if the opportunity arises that we can bring Edouard in, then I would be more than happy to do this deal. He provides us with more productivity along with possessing similar attributes to Lacazette in terms of hold up play. Front three of Pepe, Edouard and Aubameyang would certainly be exciting to me.
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23 years of age, 23 years as a Gooner. Arsenal runs through my veins and it pains me to see the current position and state of the club. Reading many football articles over the years has inspired me to write blogs containing Arsenal analysis. I’ve always wanted my fellow Gooners to be aware of my thoughts and opinions of ‘The Arsenal’ and thanks to Dave and Paul, I now have a platform which makes this possible.