SHOULD ARSENAL RETIRE SQUAD NUMBER 9? by Nicholas Oyoo
With the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Arsenal, and the match against Everton where Lacazette was benched to allow the record signing to have his debutin which he did not disappoint, leaves the question on what happens to Lacazette should Arsene Wenger keep the format of playing with one centre forward. Alexandre Lacazette moved to Arsenal as a very prolific and successful player from Lyon. From the 2013-14 season all the way to 2016-2017 when he moved to Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette has averaged over 20 goals a season. In the 2013-14 season he scored 22 goals from 50 appearances; He was most prolific in the 2014-15 season where from 40 appearances he scored a whopping 37 goals. He found the net 23 times from 44 matches in 2015-16 and was successful 37 times from 45 matches in 2016-17. So the question lingers, what happened when he crossed over to Arsenal?
Some Arsenal fans would give you spooky reasons why Alexandre Lacazette is struggling to get goals. And they say it was predictable the moment he got his shirt number. This is because of the number 9 Jersey that he wears. Perhaps, the latest wearer would have found success but his acquisition of the shirt from the previous wearer was anything but pretty. On being signed end of last season, Lucas Perez was not happy and accused Arsenal of ‘stealing’ his shirt number to give it to Lacazette.
Since 1992, eleven players have worn the shirt, and whereas, Nicolas Anelka’s goals ratio of a goal every 2.8 games can be considered acceptability prolific, he did not exactly set the premier league alight.
Alan Smith, 1992 to 1995 – 75 games, 8 goals (Before the advent of the Premier League, Alan Smith scored 98 times for Arsenal in 234 appearances.) However, in the three years of Premier League he only found the net 8 times in 75 appearances.
Paul Merson, 1992 to 1997 – 160 games, 28 goals (Before the advent of the Premier League, Paul Merson scored 50 times in 130 appearances)
Nicholas Anelka, 1996 to 1999 – 65 games, 23 goals
Davor Suker, 1999 to 2000 – 39 games, 11 goals
Francis Jeffers, 2001 to 2003 – 39 games, 8 goals
Jose Antonio Reyes, 2004 to 2006 – 110 games, 23 goals
Julio Baptista, 2006 to 2007 – 35 games, 10 goals
Eduardo da Silva, 2007 to 2010 – 67 games, 21 goals
Park Chu-young, 2011 to 2012 – 7 games, 1 goal
Lukas Podolski, 2012 to 2015 – 82 games, 31 goals
Lucas Perez, 2016 to 2017 – 21 games, 7 goals
Alexandre Lacazette, 2017 to 2018 – 25 games, 9 goals (On going).
As they try to rehabilitate Lacazette and get him out of his shell, should Arsenal swallow a humble pie and hand Lacazette squad number 12 exited by Giroud just in case…