Have Arsenal realised the importance of Lacazette too late? (Opinion)

Alexandre Lacazette is thriving as Arsenal captain, but his current contract may prove problematic. Guest post by Sarah Rohan

The dropping of Aubameyang has proved to be a blessing in disguise for Lacazette. The once-regular substitute player this term is now getting starts in the first team setup. He is thriving playing with this team of youngsters and has now taken on the captaincy. Permanent or temporary; only time will tell. That all lies in the question, will he be here next season?

In my opinion, he’s been treated unfairly in north London. Neither under Wenger or Emery would Laca play from start to finish on a regular basis, and it difficult to understand why.

Until recently it was starting to look like the same was happening once again. Arteta was kind of forced into playing Lacazette in the regular starting line up and giving him more responsibility due to the Gabonese’s exile from the team, but this has shown what an important role Alexandre can play, and what he has always been capable of but never given the proper chance.

Since joining us in 2017 he’s made 137 appearances, scored 53 goals and assisted in 21. Now for someone who hasn’t been the main forward in the team, I think these stats are quite reasonable. Also seeing how he is playing, it doesn’t show that he isn’t good enough to carry on playing for us, it shows he is a different type of player and he has now got into a role that shows off his strengths.

Not an out and out striker but a constant threat for the opposition with his hold up play, constant pressing and creating spaces and goal scoring opportunities for his team.

I think this makes up for lack of goal scoring ability. He is full of running, dribbling and has the defensive ability, winning the ball back and tackling. He is an important part of our team and pivotal in keeping us with top four aspirations. The rest of the team respects him, he’s become a leader of this team in the dressing room and is constantly communicating on the pitch.

When Aubameyang joined Arsenal, Laca probably had his best season, but after that it seemed Alex was downgraded to a back up player. Also through the seasons he played out of position.

I’ve always wanted both to play together. They have had a great partnership when playing in the same team and they both read each others game. Unfortunately it’s not to be as Arsenal’s style of play doesn’t allow this set up. So the French forward has regularly lost out.

I think now with both contracts up in the air, although I still have great love for Pierre, he should still be a player to make an impact for the team. He is just too unreliable of late and obviously his recent antics have left a sour taste in our mouths, which is more likely to see him out the door.

I think I would prefer Laca to stay on anyway as he will be 31 this year, havimg a couple of years on Auba, and still a couple of years left in him to perform at his best.

Some people are writing him off because of his age but look at Aguero at 33. Up until he was forced to retire due to heart issues, no one questioned his age. So why question Lacazette? I have yet to see age catching up on him. Anyone that runs as much as he does would be worn out too. Even a kid!

With all the players likely to leave this month and in the summer, including the likes of Nketiah, Balogan, possibly Auba and Laca. Should we really risk bringing in just one striker who has to integrate into the team? It could take months for them to get settled and then we have no back up players because we’ve got rid of them all.

We don’t even know who we will be bringing in this transfer window yet. Some players won’t want to join a team that isn’t guaranteed European football, which as the table shows will be a close call as to who will make it.

Hopefully we do bring a forward in who can get used to playing within the team, and then we can decide who should leave us come May/June. Even Arteta has said there won’t be any decisions until the summer.

We would only be shooting ourselves in the foot by getting rid of our most experienced forwards when we don’t know how any new players will take to the team. Especially with the possibility of injuries also.

So I think if we could get two seasons out of the French forward it would be more beneficial to us. Personally I think we’ve done too little too late to convince him to stay. With no contract settled he will likely find a new challenge with a new team, who will appreciate him more than we have until now. Hopefully not to our detriment though!

Until next time Gooners.

Sarah

THE JUST ARSENAL SHOW – Dan Smith discusses the fallout from Auba’s argument with Arteta

31 Comments

  1. How come Man City v Arsenal is off but they can play in the FA cup surly it’s the same players 🤷🏻‍♀️

      1. Admin Pat If all players were Jabbed there would be very few games off but some players will NOT get Jabbed then they should not play and train away from the club

  2. Sarah, totally agree.

    Never understood why he divided opinions but I don’t ever remember a bad game from him.

    1. It’s just that his finishing has been inconsistent since he joined really. His overall performances have been very good in general

    2. I do. He frequently moped and pouted when things were not going his way. He has played well recently.

    1. He seem to be playing a role similar to firmiho of Liverpool. They don’t score many goals but are massive in pressing and opening of space for others to score. Hope he can get a performance based contract. At least he’s got good attitude and hardly has issues with manager. Lacazette is also good technically. He could start scoring if his contract is sorted.

      1. Firmino, Kane, Benzema, Morata and him are modern deep-lying CFs, who often play as if they’re additional midfielders

    2. gai He has been treated like something you flush down your toilet I would not stay I would get the flock out of the club

  3. Laca’s acquisition, one of the best example of trying to fit a a square peg into a round hole.

    From Day 1, Laca did not fit our style of play. But we signed him at the time because we thought we were getting a good deal. (Extremely poor recruiting).

    The the other big mistake: we did not sell him in the right window and therefore missed the chance to get earn close 25M from selling him. (Extremely poor player management).

    We are now struggling in no man’s land, playing footsie with the player, because we don’t know the difference between up and down. This is the Arsenal Way.

    Good article, Sarah.

  4. …”although I still have great love for Pierre…” Good grief! A Gooner – PRESUMABLY, THOUGH THAT SEEMS VERY DOUBTFUL TO ME – who confesses to love a player who is harming our club!

    Anyone care to explain is this simply normal female love by SARAH for a male or some weird way of worshipping a player who is patently working against our club.
    My view is that I CRAVE HIS PERMANENT DEPARTURE FROM OUR HALLOWED CLUB ASAP!

    1. Not another player you “crave” to depart Jon?

      I wonder how you seemingly support MA with your every fibre, but keep questioning his player selection?

      Aubameyang, Xhaka, Lacazette… who will be next on your chopping board?

      Sarah, good article, but I think you may be getting their obvious friendship (Lacs and Aba) and celebrations on the pitch, with their effectiveness when playing together… if I’m wrong my apologies… as I cannot remember one game in the last three seasons, where they have played well together.
      For me, Lacazette is by far the better team player, contributes so much more and is a very good roleplay model for the younger players.

      Yet another Arsenal contract mistake, as we should have offered him a new contract or simply sold him…. dare I say it’s down to MA/EDU?

  5. Like Ramsey like Ozil the Arsenal has allowed Laca to enter his final year of his contract. I like Lacazette as a person. He is a 100% trier and a professional on and off the field. But Lacazette cost 50m and is paid 182k p/w. He has not justified that price or salary package. He is over 30. On the other hand the young guns Odegaard Saka ESR and Martinelli are leading the way in goal scoring. The club has a policy of much younger lower salary higher resale value players. Lacazette is contrary to everything we are building now except his work ethic is still good. But is work ethic on it’s own enough? To me we could offer an extension if and only if we make top 4. That gives both parties a clear goal to work toward. Another factor is Auba on 350k p/w. We can perhaps afford one of them but not both. One has to go. Ideally a Newcastle steps in and takes one allowing the other to stay. We still have 72m Pepe misfiring and Mari Bellerin Cedric Kolasinac Torreira Elneny Niles Nketiah Guendouzie Saliba Mavropanos to redeploy. Cleaning up past contract mistakes is taking longer than is preferable in the Covid market but it is what it is. January should be interesting in more ways than one.

  6. I never quite understood our protracted 2+ year courtship with Laca in the first place…at that time, it was clear that some within the fanbase, including myself, felt that if we properly redressed our Striker position we could have made a legitimate push for trophies….Giroud was no scrub, but with Sanchez, Ozil, Ramsey and possibly Cazorla on the pitch, many felt that we needed a more fluid, pacey and clinical presence up top…it appeared as if someone within the organization felt that Laca was this such individual, albeit he was more likely being viewed as a logical plan B to the infinitely more unattainable Benzema option

    personally I was more enamored with Fekir at that time and wished that we might have pursued both options, which would have allowed us to stop shoehorning Ramsey or Ozil in wider positions…of course, we hummed and hawed for such a long time that we appeared to have missed out on Laca’s most productive period

    by the time we secured his services, which required us to ante up the same monies, if not more, than we were unwilling to offer up in the previous two years, things were imploding at our club….the impending Sanchez debacle was consuming all the oxygen in the room, discussion regarding the contractual issues surrounding Ramsey and Ozil were ramping up and the divisiveness surrounding Wenger’s future was palpable, which was hardly the optimum environment for a successful transition into the PL…furthermore, not only was the lineup functionally weaker, he was under considerably more pressure to fill the void left by the distracted and largely absent Sanchez, which was both unfair and implausible from an expectations standpoint

    strangely enough, what we’ve witnessed from him lately, as link-up guy, who can play with his back to goal and come late into the box and hunt for pockets of space, was exactly what I liked about him when he was scoring for fun at Lyon…unfortunately, this didn’t jive with the tactics normally being deployed under Wenger, Emery or with our present manager, except for a brief period when Auba and Laca started together up top, with room to roam

    as for his future prospects, to think that Laca could carry the load on a regular basis, at this age and beyond, considering the rigors of just such an undertaking, is a rather unrealistic proposition, which is why I think it would make infinitely more sense to aggressively target a young, pacier and much more clinical replacement option, with little regard for the monetary outlay, as it will likely be the most seminal decision we make for the foreseeable future

    1. See this is why I read your posts till the end TRVL ,no emotional bollocks just straight up facts and as someone who is in your way of thinking you can say it better than the rest of us ,Kudos to that .
      Regarding Fekir I went ape sh1t over him coming here for the last 2 -3 seasons which just sums up our thinking regarding how we believe this club should go as ..fans..
      We had a shaky start but I regard you as one of the best contributors if not the best on this site 👍

  7. Mostly all gunners still tink laca is not d real deal because you all fail to recognise dst buying auba in the first place was made laca to look bad, we needed a winger den both wenger got auba, Ya’ll remember auba started in d wing but he’s not a winger coz he can’t dribble, not a good passer, just speed. So wen it was later obvious he can’t a play in d flank den was made to play as a striker coz we arsenal board n fans just prefer auba like some idiots prefer Messi to ronaldo. I’m just glad I wasn’t wrong all d time dat auba is not so good player and laca was better, next up is why is xhaka still playing for arsenal, I hope he’ll be next after auba. Wotz sad is sad d coach and management knew this too but dey were just hoping on operation auba to succeed wen dey knew laca was better and therefore waisted alot of money renewing auba contract as to prioritising laca. “Hypocrisy is everywhere “

  8. From day one, I have been a strong supporter of Laca and always wanted his contract to be extended. The point is, inspite of his limited chances to start as the main CF, he has got a good scoring record, fantastic work rate, great hold up play and a very motivating leader on the pitch and off it. All these qualities go a long way in getting the team perform at high levels and in the end contribute largely to the overall success of the team and it is only possible because Laca is a real team man. Arsenal will be making a big mistake if we dont give Laca an extended contract, specially since Nketiah is most likely to leave to CP and the Auba situation will not be solved soon. Laca must stay, Arsenal needs him.

  9. Fans….
    Laca has always been a great player. It’s just that the utopic expectations if fans generally makes him look otherwise.

    Ever wonder why players like Giroud and Xhaka are guaranteed starters wherever they find themselves?

    If anyone here has followed Laca right from his under 17 days like I have, you will understand why letting Laca go will be a great mistake. He has always been an agressive, passionate, intelligent, skillful team player. Laca has always played like we have seen in the last 4 games. He’s been the same. People think it’s all for a new contract. That is wrong.

    You don’t hear pool fans talk about replacing Firminho yet his goal returns are not better than Laca’s. Yet he is their first choice striker. He brings a lot more to the game than scoring. Laca is in this same mould.
    Many her consider Firminho great, yet Laca complain of Laca. Why?
    I presume because Laca is our player.
    Many would still prefer to have Auba up there, yet fail to see that we play with a disadvantage in general play with him upfront. It means other players have to work harder and that affects the general setup.
    Consider how Arsenal press with Laca and how it does with Auba. With Laca the other players know who to press and go about it because he takes a man first and others instantly know who to press. With Auba, it’s not the same. He doesn’t press. So others can’t else they risk jeopardizing the structure of the team.

    A player like Laca has the mental aggression, and strength as well as footballing intellect similar to that of aguero. They get better with age even as the reality of their bodies kick in. They will still find a way.

  10. Agree with Snowflake. Lacazette is underrated as a player and his value to the team, particularly in a leadership/mentoring role, is now being appreciated.
    He has been mismanaged by a number of Arsenal managers, including Arsene Wenger, who dropped him when he was scoring goals. His confidence has been dented so many times, yet he comes back and contributes, with no disruptive antics or theatrics. In my opinion, Lacazette has been a consummate professional at the Arsenal.

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