Taking a Look at Potential Lacazette Replacements
There have been rumours that Arsenal are looking to move French international, Alexandre Lacazette, on and sign Odsonne Edouard of Celtic. Looking at Lacazette’s record at Arsenal does not make for extremely pleasant reading. The 29 year old has never reached 15 goals for Arsenal in the league. He is notorious for not scoring away from home and when you pay above 40 million euros for a striker, you expect much more than the return he’s provided.
Mikel Arteta has Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang under his roster but has stubbornly stuck with Lacazette in the middle while the Gabonese has been moved out wide. The gaffer seems to want a striker who can hold up the ball very well and drop into the middle. Lacazette looks to be good at this or at least better than Aubameyang. With this in mind, who are the conceivable options for Arsenal to replace their number 9?
The 21-year-old is having a great season with Celtic. With 24 goals and 7 assists in 31 games, there is an assurance that he can get goals. Standing at 6 feet and possessing great strength on and off the ball, the Frenchman is no pushover. Also renowned for his ability with the ball, Edouard is of the right technical level.
There are some concerns about his ability to translate in a more difficult league but since he is so young, Arteta can be optimistic that he is destined for more prominent things outside of Scotland.
The Red Bull group are now notorious for their youth development. At Salzburg, they have produced European hot commodities like Dominik Szbozlai, Hwang Hee Chan, Takuki Minamino and, of course, superstar Erling Halaand.
After selling Halaand to Borussia Dortmund, Salzburg have magically found another striker who seemingly can’t stop scoring. Meet Patson Daka, the 21-year-old successor of Erling Halaand. Comparisons between both have been made but they are not exactly the same. Daka possesses incredible athletic qualities similar to Halaand and has the same knack of moving into the right places whenever there’s a goalscoring chance.
His potential is also incredible but clubs in Europe will be closely watching his Champions League performances as that will give an even more adequate evaluation of him than his 36 goal contributions for Salzburg.
Arsenal like their Frenchmen, don’t they? At 24, Moussa Dembele is a more prominent name than any other on this list. The Lyon striker was polished at Celtic and has gone on to prove himself at a higher level since then.
Mustering a respectable 18 goal contributions for Lyon last season, Dembele is an adequate central forward option. Big, physical and mobile enough to nip ahead of forwards, the 24-year-old could be a good fit for what Arteta wants. Lyon are notoriously tough negotiators but Arsenal should be able to get their man with relative ease.
The Brazilian starlet has shown extreme proficiency in his debut season for Arsenal, becoming the first teenager to hit over 10 goals for the club in all competitions since Nicolas Anelka.
Martinelli is incredibly fast, sharp and full of belief. His movement and ball striking abilities are top notch and he’s a perfect fit for Arteta’s pressing scheme, recording the most pressures and ball recoveries than any other forward in the Europa League and the Premier League.
His injury setback is significant and he will need some time to recover his previous form but there’s no doubting his talent. There is some ambivalence around his hold-up play but he has not been lacking on the ball in his appearances in the central forward role. Just 19, Mikel Arteta will also fancy his chances of turning him into the complete forward on the training ground.
The England u-21 striker got a brace for Arsenal on his debut. He has passed Alan Shearer’s youth internationals record and at some points last season, he was our first choice striker.
Nketiah is a remarkable poacher with excellent positioning and movement in and around the penalty box. This unique ability of his is an assurance that he will always be a goalscorer. It is the other parts of his game that are not so clear.
Sent on loan to Leeds last season, Patrick Bamford was often preferred over him because of their contributions outside of goalscoring. Bielsa reportedly worked with him on the training ground, trying to improve his overall play. Arsenal recalled him in January and he was able to momentarily displace Lacazette out of the squad. Now playing as a substitute, the English youngster comes in for a few minutes at the end of games.
Arteta reportedly appreciates a striker who can contribute to pressing and the build-up play, someone comfortable playing with his back to the game. Martinelli has been the best pressing forward in England in his few minutes in the center, while Patson Daka should be no stranger to the pressing philosophy from Salzburg. Others like Dembele and Odouard are adept at contributing to the build-up. Eddie Nketiah is a born goalscorer but it is not so clear if he can make it as a starting option at the club. It would be interesting going forward to see who the manager opts for.
Which of those five would you choose?