Alexandre Lacazette has been spotted in Barcelona, as reported by Sport.
The French striker enjoyed a scintillating second season in north London, scoring 13 goals and providing ten assists in 35 Premier League appearances while winning Arsenal’s Player of the Season award.
Lacazette was linked with a move to Barcelona last month with Mundo Deportivo valuing him at up to €70m(£62.03m) and while the report from Sport has given no real update on the La Liga giants’ interest or how a potential deal could be structured, they do claim that the Arsenal star’s presence in the city has ‘created a lot of rumours about his future’.
Unai Emery faces a tough squad rebuild on limited funds after missing out on Champions League football due to a fifth-placed Premier League finish coupled with the failure to win the Europa League.
Best case scenario, Arsenal would keep Lacazette and use the dynamic striker as the cornerstone of an exciting new era. Unfortunately, the current situation is far from anyone’s best case scenario and Emery must yield to drastic measures in order to rebuild his mangled squad.
A club in Arsenal’s position can’t afford and can’t justify having two expensive assets in the same position and the club need to be ruthless about the situation. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also at the club, the Gunners must decide between the two centre-forwards and sell the other.
Projected to have a summer transfer budget of just £45m before sales, Arsenal could realistically more than double their transfer kitty by selling one of their strikers. A sad necessity, but a necessity all the same to fortify their weak squad.
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Selling one of the club’s only consistent performers is a tough decision and picking which striker to sell is even tougher. Lacazette is one year younger than his Gabonese partner and is also a better playmaker with the ball at his feet.
However, Aubameyang, for all his faults and at times profligate finishing, is the surer guarantee for goals. The Premier League’s golden boot winner has scored at a rate of 0.65 goals per game for Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund, whereas Lacazette has only managed a to score at a rate 0.45 goals per game for Arsenal and Lyon.
With two top strikers an inefficient use of limited funds, Arsenal should say goodbye to their beloved French forward if Barcelona do come knocking, utilising the funds to reinforce the rest of the team while thrusting the goalscoring burden on Aubameyang.