Alexandre Lacazette is staking a serious claim to be the main man at Arsenal this season

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Arsenal paid a then club-record fee of £46.5m to sign Alexandre Lacazette on a five-year deal in the summer of 2017, and fans of the Gunners could have been forgiven for thinking then that their long-term striking problem had been solved.

However, despite Lacazette netting eight goals before Christmas in the 2017/18 season, Arsene Wenger opened the chequebook once again and broke that record in the next window with the capture of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund for £56m.

Lacazette could have easily thrown his toys out of the pram when he was left on the bench for Aubameyang just four days after the Gabon international had arrived, but the Frenchman clearly got his head down and worked hard as he finished the season with 14 goals and four assists in the Premier League.

Over the summer there was then of course huge change at the Emirates, with Unai Emery replacing Wenger, but Lacazette has once again stepped up his game to prove to the new boss that he is worthy of that single striker spot in the starting XI each week.

The 27-year-old’s numbers were by no means disappointing last season, as he averaged a goal every 0.4 matches and an average of just over two shots per game, but already this season Lacazette looks like a completely different player under the former Paris Saint-Germain boss.

In his eight appearances so far, the Arsenal man has four goals and is averaging 0.3 more shots per game as he stakes his claim to be given the starting striker role permanently ahead of Aubameyang and Danny Welbeck.

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The stats show that Lacazette is also working far harder for the team, as Emery demands with his higher pressing system than Wenger. The French striker is now making 0.7 more tackles per game and is dispossessed 0.2 times less on average.

If Lacazette keeps up this form there is no doubt that he should retain that starting spot upfront with Aubameyang shifted out onto the wing. Luckily for Emery, the 29-year-old seems to be just as productive out wide, and he has also netted four Premier League goals so far this season.

After an impressive start to the season, it looks as though a top-four push could be on for the Gunners. However, much of the hard graft will be down to Lacazette to keep up those numbers and prove that he can become the 20-goal-a-season striker that Arsenal are crying out for if they are to get back into the Champions League.

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