In the words of the late Freddie Mercury, “its finally happened, its finally happened…”
Yep, Alexandre Lacazette is finally a Gooner, with the first major signing of the season complete and I don’t know about you but I am happy and relieved that we’ve moved so quickly to do this. No mess, no fuss, no ‘umming’ or ‘ahhing’, Wenger wanted a striker and after a cheeky and seductive wave at Mbappe, he’s seen another striker at the bar who takes his fancy and decided that it’s probably more achievable, so the old dogs taking that one home instead.
And it’s a good move. We’ve purchased a guy who’s scored 37 goals in all comps last season and who looks like a collective upgrade on all of our strikers. There are some that are discounting the ten or 11 goals that he scored via penalties last season, but those that are doing that are forgetting a few things: every top striker in every league usually has a collective of penalties to add to that tally. Last season Harry Kane got seven out of his 29 and Lionel Messi notched nine in all competitions. I don’t hear anybody discounting those goals, so why is it different for our new signing?
The fact is that every top striker usually takes penalties and that usually always contributes a fair bit to a successful season. If Lacazette becomes our main penalty man and ten of his 30 goals are penalties I’d be delighted.
And not just because he would have scored ten penalty goals. More because he’s bagged us a load as a top striker. Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to have a stone cold killer from the dead ball spot inside the box? We seem to have been pretty average since Lauren left us, with Arteta, Santi, Theo and Alexis all missing what feels like half the penalties they get anyway. So to have a guy with a pretty decent strike rate from the spot suits me fine.
What this inevitably means is that one up front is going. Last season Wenger bemoaned the fact he was sad he couldn’t give Lucas Perez game time, so with one more body in the squad, how’s he getting game time now? The fact of the matter is he isn’t and I suspect he’ll be out of the door. But if he is, who takes his place? Does Welbeck become that third striker that invariably doesn’t play much of the season? Does that happen to Giroud? Or does Arsène actually do what he should have done last season and give them all a bit more of a chance?
I suspect the latter, because he’s grown to love Welbeck for his energy, he certainly loves Giroud for his game, whilst Lacazette costs north of £45million, so he’s not going to be shunted out as much as Perez was. So what I think we’ll see here is the first season of proper rotation and I hope it happens in the league cup and Europa League. The first rounds of those competitions should provide games to keep players happy and also match fit enough to make an impact should any player get injured, so we can only hope that its rotation in Arsène’s mind.
And if that is the case, then jolly good, I say.
As an aside, made I just say ‘kudos’ and a doff of my cap to the official site for leading with ‘#LacaNewSigning’ on social media platforms. It’s a bit of fun and play on a well known Arsèneism over the years and it’s nice that amongst all of the angst and impatientness of modern day football fans, a corporate feed can still have a bit of fun. Top hashtaggery.
Lacazette was also confirmed as a deal done early enough for him to join his teammates on the Australia tour and that is fantastic news. It’s great for the fans out in Oz who get to see the newbie. It’ll be great for the player who will get to play with his new team and bond with them on tour, but it’ll also be great because when the first game of the season happens, he’ll be ready and waiting to start from the off. No taking a month to realise he’s no longer in France.
And to top it all off, he’s signed a five year deal instead of four, so we get an extra season longer than we have with Alexis, worrying about whether he’ll sign a new deal!! Happy days!
Attention now turns to Australia, but also to new deals and potential other incomings. I suspect the next piece of news will probably be a new deal for somebody. My guessing (and hope) would be Özil, but we just have to wait and see with that one, but the good news is Laca this morning and for the rest of the week and we can all be happy about it I think.
Catch you all tomorrow.