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Does Lacazette fit into Arsenal’s future or has he burnt his bridges anyway?

Mikel-Arteta-giving-instructions-to-Arsenal-striker-Alexandre-Lacazette

In this article I will make an attempt at analyzing role of Lacazette as a CF. Secondly, touch upon the fact that our fan base now hates him more than ever specially after his recent comments about missing Champions League football. So Has Lacazette Burnt the bridges with the fan-base and the manager?

As we approach the business end of the season, Arsenal seem to miss a great opportunity to make it to top 4. Maybe they have an outside chance but that’s what it is at best

We all know how Mr. Wenger kept us in the top 4 every season despite having some average players. This achievement in itself was phenomenal, forget whatever anyone tells you…

STYLE OF PLAY

Lacazette, bought in the summer window of 2016-17 from Lyon has been a quality player for us. In 2018-19 season under Emery, Lacazette scored 13 goals and 8 assists in 35 appearances. This was his best season as for goals scored in the league. The shots per 90 stat was at 2.1 for 18-19, while it is 1.9 per 90 mins for 21-22.

Lacazette’s having his worst season in terms of goals, scoring a meager 04 goals from 19 appearances playing 1638 minutes. Although he has also contributed with 07 assists. Out of these 04 goals, 02 of them have been from the spot. Looking at goal scoring stats considering he is the only out and out striker available for a team competing for top 4, it is a shocking.

This has incidentally coincided with Arsenal almost ending their top 4 hopes with 03 consecutive defeats. It is a bad position to be in since the onus of goal scoring as it should be, is on the main central striker. Now, a lot of people have been calling out Mr. Arteta for allowing Aubameyang to leave but according to me that is naive at best. In my opinion, Aubameyang was never suited to the style of play Arteta wanted to implement. No disrespect to Aubameyang who had been a terrific player for us.

Auba-Spurs

Did not fit new style

Lacazette is more suited to the style of football Arteta wants to play, the striker that drops during build up and links up play well, he needs to pick up pockets of spaces and needs to be good at dribbling through close spaces while also being press resistant.

The statement is supported by the XG per game when Aubameyang was starting games at the start of the season and our attacking output looked very disjointed, XG per game was 1.413 while we actually scored 1.375 Goals per game. Even though Lacazette is supposedly having a very poor run of form in front of goal, after his regular induction in the team, our XG count increased significantly to 1.82 per game while we actually scored 1.77 Goals per game.

One of the attributes that Lacazette lacks badly is the aerial prowess that is needed in the box and as an outlet for ball retention. This becomes even more important when playing against the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool which play with a higher defensive line and press with the greatest intensity in this league.

STATS COMPARED WITH HARRY KANE FOR 2021-22

Looking at the Statistics that Lacazette has put up this season, I have classified them into two main categories. For reference, and it might prove to be a spicy reference, I have compared the stats of Alexandre Lacazette with Harry Kane. The sole reason being that both are currently playing a similar role for their respective teams.

  1. The striker attributes
  2. The ball playing/link-up attributes
Stat Alex Lacazette Harry Kane
STRIKER ATTRIBUTES
Goals Scored 4 12
XG 7.45 15.34
Assists 7 6
Aerial duels won per game 0.8 1.9
Shots per Game 1.9 2.7
Shooting Accuracy 45.45% 55.41%
Touches per 90 36.86 44.45
BALL PLAYING / LINK- UP ATTRIBUTES
Pass Accuracy 75.8% 71.49%
Possession lost per 90 10.3 14.7
Key passes per 90 1.2 1.3
Through balls per 90 0.1 0.3
 Chances created per 90 1.6 1.4

XG Stats taken from understat.com

Rest of the stats from Squawka.com powered by OPTA , Premierleague.com

As far as the stats suggests, Alexandre Lacazette, despite being the most under-fire player currently has not done too badly specially in the linkup/ball playing statistics. This suggests that probably, it is down to his positioning during transitional phases that result in him not being able to enter the Penalty box and get himself into more shooting positions.

Secondly, our readers might agree to the fact that despite making Arsenal the youngest squad with a competitive edge, Arteta has not totally nailed it on the attacking front and our chance creating stats are not very good compared with the rest of the top teams.

Worryingly, Lacazette is averaging around 1.9 shots per 90 as compared to 2.7 per game for Harry Kane. The stats that Lacazette have put up would be absolutely perfect if he was playing in a two striker system, as he used to under Emery when Aubameyang was at his best. They both complemented each other beautifully. Obviously, Arteta has implemented a completely different style of play which is perfectly normal but it does not make Lacazette a bad player at all.

IS IT OVER FOR LACAZETTE?

skysports-lacazette-alexandre 5650173

Over?

The recent comments that Lacazette has made generated a lot of fuss and anger amongst the fans. Our fan-base is a little unforgiving towards some players over others. Now Lacazette specially with the goals drying up for the team, with such comments will find himself in hot waters.

Considering the reactionary fan base all of a sudden slating everything from Arteta’s tactics, to Lacazette’s form. The comments will add in a lot of toxicity which is certainly not needed right now.

We all would agree that Lacazette should not have made such comments, especially at such a critical time. However, we need to consider that he has been a thorough professional over the years for us and has performed well. He was never the Thierry Henry we have been looking for since the King left us. I think we all should keep control of our emotions and look at the fact that this is a very young team which is still developing.

RL

No guarantees in this game!

We are surely on the lookout for a new striker in the summer. But for another tasty reference, Chelsea recently bought Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku for £47.5 Million & £97.5 Million respectively. Werner has scored 9 goals and 13 assists in 51 matches or 3496 Minutes i.e. a G/A every 159 Mins, while Lukaku so far has 5 goals and 1 Assist in 20 Games or 1233 Minutes i.e. a G/A every 205.5 Mins. So, there is no guarantee that the new signing however good he might be, will start banging in goals for fun.

Arteta needs to take a logical approach in-spite of being under pressure and look to utilize Lacazette for the run-in. He might still have a say in where we finish this season. In my opinion, at least a one year contract is necessary since the style of play Arteta implements demands a lot from the striker which will be  hard to find and certainly wont come cheap. So Lacazette will be his backup insurance in case the new signing (whoever it might be,) doesn’t hit the ground running.

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