Alexandre Lacazette is set for talks over his Arsenal future in the coming days, a potentially pivotal moment in the Frenchman’s career.
The France striker has never quite taken the club by storm since his £46.5million arrival from Lyon, heading into his fourth season as Arsenal’s No.9 he has yet to reach 50 goals for the club. A strike rate of 48 in 127 is not to be sniffed at but does not compare all that favourably to his predecessors at the Emirates Stadium, nor indeed his team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Yet so much of Lacazette’s time in north London has to be viewed through the prism of Aubameyang, perhaps the striker that Arsenal wanted and certainly a gaunlet laid down in the former’s path when his reign as record signing was summarily ended after half a season.
It is a stroke of great fortune or wisdom that Arsenal have managed to sustain an ecosystem with two star strikers who not only enjoy playing with each other but are willing to subsume their own needs to bring the best out of each other. It is rare indeed to see players with quite the same bond as Lacazette and Aubameyang, inseperable at the training ground and beyond.
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In the rare moments of attacking thrust during Unai Emery’s tenure there was joy to the tandem between the two, Lacazette in particular relishing a role as facilitator that did not go unappreciated by supporters. In the year when Aubameyang won the Golden Boot it was his strike partner who fans named their player of the season.
That Lacazette was as clutch a performer as Arsenal had, scoring decisive goals against the likes of Napoli, Valencia, Chelsea and Liverpool. Add into his 13 Premier League goals the 10 assists he provided and the Frenchman had a direct hand in a goal every 108 minutes. In that same campaign Aubameyang registered one every 101 minutes.
The two seemed on a par with each other,…