The January transfer window is now well and truly kicking into gear, and as we approach the mid-point, it’s likely that we’ll start witnessing the ‘big boys’ kicking into action. Deals have been few and far between in the Premier League so far, but one man to have been grabbing headlines ahead of a potential switch is Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette.
Arsenal and Liverpool are the two sides to have been most heavily linked with the in-form forward, with January bids having been mooted. Should either side move for him, though? We think so, and here are FIVE reasons why…
A double against Toulouse over the weekend took Lacazette’s season tally in Ligue 1 to 19 in 20 games. Wow. The French hit-man spent much of his early career operating from a wide role, but after being shifted more central, he really began to flourish.
Impressive form last season was seen as a potential ‘flash in the pan’, but the sustained level of performance the 23-year-old is showing has made it clear that he has what it takes at the top level in France. Such showings don’t always translate across the Channel, but with his level of pace and ability to press from the front, Lacazette looks to be perfectly suited to the English game, even though his strength is questionable.
The above video shows all 17 of Lacazette’s goals before the winter break in France. From penalties and headers, to individual efforts, to tap-ins and even the odd effort from distance, the razor-sharp marksman looks like he can do it all. Composed and deadly on the counter-attack, his skills seem suited to Liverpool or Arsenal’s style of play.
With the numbers well and truly crunched, it’s abundantly clear that Lacazette is a far better option than both Wenger and Rodgers can currently call on. The 23-year-old has out-shot, out-scored and out-assisted Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge and Mario Balotelli so far this term, with ‘Welbz’s’ superior pass completion – only 3% above that of the Lyon man – the only major area the quartet come out on top.
Sanchez has been bailing Arsenal out and could do with a striker of greater quality ahead of him, while Liverpool’s lack of goals all season has been a worry for Rodgers – albeit they have been without Sturridge since August.
Although senior figures at Lyon are adamant that Lacazette will not be sold, the financial realities of French football, and life at Stade Gerland, mean that significant bids will be hard to turn down. With his form at a real high, the 23-year-old is likely to command a fee in excess of £20m at the very least, which may be a stretch for both Liverpool and Arsenal this month, but they could get a lot of striker for their money. After all, Andy Carroll once cost £35m!
Alexandre Lacazette, what an absolute beast, french talent! pic.twitter.com/Y6sCZt8udf
— 8 Troll Football (@8TrollFootball) January 11, 2015
With Cristiano Ronaldo the only ‘goal-getter’ with a better record that Lacazette in Europe’s top five leagues, it’s clear that the Lyon man is one of the best around on current form. This stat is even more impressive give that the once all-conquering French force are not quite at the level they were during the days of free-kick sensation Juninho, with a number of their first-team now made up of youngsters.