Arsenal stats – Why Lacazette would be a massive upgrade on Giroud

Arsenal fans have been clamouring for years for Arsene Wenger to bring in a top class striker to rival Olivier Giroud as first choice centre-forward, and it is possible that this summer we may finally get rewarded.

There are a lot of Arsenal rumours saying that we will get Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon, but of course there are always some Arsenal fans that will say that Giroud is the better option, especially as he gets picked for France ahead of his younger rival. But does that tell the whole story? I have found this brilliant comparison made by ESPN Statistics Team, which fully explains why Lacazette is definitely an upgrade on Giroud….

Higher scoring rate

Giroud has 69 league goals over five seasons, with a career-best of 16 in one campaign. Lacazette, meanwhile, has netted 76 league goals over the last three years, with at least 21 in each season. This past campaign he scored 28 in 30 games for a rate of 0.93 goals per game. That was fifth-highest across the top five European leagues, trailing only Lionel Messi (1.1), Edinson Cavani (0.97), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (0.97) and Harry Kane (0.97). Lacazette scored 42.9 percent of Lyon’s Ligue 1 goals when he was on the pitch, a higher rate than Harry Kane (41.4), Cristiano Ronaldo (37.6) and Lionel Messi (36.3).

Positional flexibility

Giroud is an old-fashioned centre-forward, a strong physical presence in the box and an excellent target man. But he’s very limited outside the area, where he doesn’t pose much of a threat to defenders.

Lacazette, meanwhile, has played as both a winger, attacking midfielder and striker at Lyon and could be deployed anywhere across the front three of Wenger’s recently adopted 3-4-2-1 formation. If Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil both stay at the club to team up with Lacazette, they would form an attacking trident that’s much more dynamic and fluid than when Giroud plays up front, as they could interchange positions and create chances for each other.


Over the last three years, Lacazette also created 35+ scoring chances each season. The only other player in Europe to create 35 chances and score at least 20 goals in all three years? Messi.

In the final third, Lacazette has a passing accuracy of 71.3 percent over those three seasons, having made 1,517 passes. Giroud, meanwhile, has completed 60.3 percent of the 919 passes he made in the final third during that span. Lacazette’s passing accuracy is even higher than that of Sanchez (68.1 percent), though the Chilean attempted nearly twice as many passes (2,888).

Converting big chances

While Lacazette is much more dangerous outside the area than Giroud, he would also make sure the Gunners still have a massive threat in the box. When it comes to converting “big chances” — labelled as a high-quality goalscoring opportunity — Lacazette has a similar scoring rate to Giroud. Over the last three league seasons, Lacazette has taken 73 big chance shots (excluding penalties), scoring 40 such goals for a conversion rate of of 75.5 percent. Giroud’s is slightly higher, 76.9 percent, but with 33 fewer shots. Sanchez has scored 29 such goals on 50 shots, a rate of 58 percent.

Proven penalty taker

Some of Lacazette’s critics would point out that a lot of his goals have come from the penalty spot. But at Arsenal, that’s a much-needed quality. The Gunners have missed four of the last 15 league penalties they’ve been awarded. Lacazette has missed four of 24 attempts since 2014-15. He has also won five penalties in those three seasons, two more than Sanchez, Arsenal’s leader.

So who still thinks we should keep Giroud instead of signing Lacazette?



  1. Old fashioned Giroud fan here. Within minutes of coming in against Chelsea he put in a cross that was perfect, on a plate to Ramsey to win the FA cup for Arsenal. Hope he can stay here for a long time.

  2. Lacazette is definitely the type of variance in a sticker that Arsenal truly needs. No doubt, Giroud has his own uses for which I admit he is a necessity. Yes, when Giroud is on form, his hold up play is just so exquisite and even when he is out of form, his hold up play, most times, still find a way of remaining so. I love it so much. However, what’s the use of a hold-up-play without an equally exquisite conversion rate in a striker? That is the variance that Arsenal needs right about now and same can be sought and found in Lacazette (havent seen much of his game though to confirm his hold up play).

    1. Lol respect that uv disliked giroud for time
      Consistent as f***

    2. I’m with you there mate.He’s just an average player beign given many chances.A lot of average strikers can even do better because of the chances Arsenal creates.There are some strikers who are not top quality but have very good finishing that if given the same seasons and chances Giroud has had they can do better.I hate it when they make it seem like only world class strikers are better than him.He’s really only improved from season 14/15 honestly speaking.He used to be so bad and waste a lot of chances.It’s just that become cannot see the fact that he’s not as good as they think.We will surely be vindicated by his performance for another club.

  3. As per usual “the ditherer”going for the cheapest option.what happened to mbappe?as if,lol!the best option would be aubemayang.obvious.but the skinflint saves a few shackles & we end up with 3rd rate/choice striker.if that.

  4. My argument is not whether Lacazette is an upgrade on Giroud or not, but that Giroud is not as useless as some are making him out to be….

    We definitely need him, Lacazette can get injured, he may not hit the ground running like Xhaka, Welbeck isn’t that dependable,we will need him!

    Him and Sanchez are the only true goalscorers we have and we know the tendency of some teams to park the bus against us, then we start wishing Giroud is still with us…nuff said

  5. Great statistics and observations. We would never know whether Lacazette would be suitable for Arsenal’s system or not, until he starts in a few games with us.

    The fact is Lyon, Arsenal and France play with different systems, so not all players can excel in all systems, maybe except Messi, the god of football. But if Lacazette was a winger and an attacking midfielder with playmaking skills beforehand, he would be a great addition to Arsenal.

    I’m just worried Arsenal will go back to their pointless crosses from the headless chicken wings and rely too much on the set-pieces in the upcoming season. Then they would need a taller striker with a good header like Giroud.

  6. Should this even be a topic?Giroud is a player of average quality always surrounded by good players.I just don’t get.It’s as if only Arsenal fans rate him.This was a player who was bought to be the leading striker at Arsenal and after his years of failure which many deny he’s now become a super sub?How laughable is that.From failure to super sub.If the so called world class striker we’re signing goes out with an injury for about five months who comes in then.It seems to me people lack vision.Why is it always Giroud Giroud Giroud?After so many seasons people are still debating what souldn’t even be debatable.I’ve lost count of the number of times he’s been talked about here.This is the problem with our club.It’s just not ruthless.This is a player who should have been gone long ago but due to him being French he still gets the chances.We won’t miss him when he goes and I’d like to see if he’d stand out in a smaller club.

    1. Three factually wrong things there.

      How can he be average and still have the second or third best goals per minute ratio? How can he be average and be a starter for France who have plenty of other options. He DID prove himself at a smaller club when he was top goalscorer for Ligue 1, leading Montpellier to the title, who were 13th in terms of team value that season. He also outscored Hazard and Aubameyang that season.

  7. I hate these articles on Mbappe and Lacazette , Wenger is just wasting time.This might be a ploy to keep fans interested to buy merchandises

  8. Stupid article proving nothing apart from that statistics can be used to emphasise anything you want to believe if you’re selective with them. If Giroud isn’t the designated penalty taker for Arsenal there is no point including the Lacazette penalties as a comparison to Giroud’s goal scoring numbers. You can equally make the argument that Lacazette’s goalscoring numbers are far less impressive if we ignore the 11 penalties he scored last year as he might not be afforded penalty taking duties at Arsenal.

    More importantly, though, how can Lazazette be used an upgrade comparison for Giroud if they are completely different types of player? Would Lacazette provide an upgrade on Giroud’s ability to shield the ball from opposition defences, to come off the bench & have an immediate feel for the game to provide assists & goals, win headers against the far more physical Premier League defenders? If you want to compare Lacazette to anyone, make a case for him as an upgrade for one of Arsenal’s other small, quick forwards. Compare him to Walcott of Perez. I don’t by any means think Giroud is the top class player Arsenal need to take them to the next level but without a player of his type who among the rest of the squad provides that unique skillset?

  9. Great article. Would be good to have both players at the club. Like Giroud, despite his deficiencies, however from a financial point of view £20m from West Ham for a 30 year old would represent great business – and much needed counter balance to the further investment the squad needs.

  10. lacazatte, auba,benzima,…..ronaldo,messi r an upgrad to giroud but we wont sign any of them

  11. Giroud should have left Arsenal long ago along with other players.He’s overstayed.A club like Arsenal shouldn’t be crying over such an average player.He surely won’t be missed because you don’t miss average players.He’s a big part of the reason why Arsene Wenger has failed to land a proper striker because he trusts in him.I’ve see nothing special in him since he came here from day one to this day.I just don’t know what people see in him.

  12. I think Giroud should stay as a sub, but whether he decides to be a sub is another problem because of the upcoming world cup. I would get Lacazette as our 1st choice striker(if we don’t get aubameyung or Lewandowski), & use Giroud(if he stays) as a sub, otherwise Welbeck would be a good sub too. This would be the closest to a realistic signing as it would get, otherwise the most realistic scenario is maintaining the current status quo.

  13. Why can’t Arsenal play Giroud and Lacazette up front like France with Giroud and Griessman, in games suited to this formation? FLEXIBILITY!!!

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