Arsenal have a superstar in Alexandre Lacazette. Liverpool have a serviceable forward in Roberto Firmino. There’s just no comparison.
Arsenal‘s player of the season Alexandre Lacazette scored a thumping goal against Tottenham, and to celebrate, and article hit the news comparing him to Roberto Firmino and awarding the latter with top honors. Now, the article was with the highly-reputable publication The Athletic and I must admit that I haven’t read the article yet myself. But I wanted to address the very concept that Firmino was better than Lacazette.
Because it just isn’t true. First and foremost, you are comparing a guy in arguably the best attack in the world with a guy in a burgeoning attack. Give me Lacazette when the Unai Emery era hits its peak and we will see, beyond dispute, that Lacazette is better.
You could stick a scarecrow in then middle of that Liverpool attack and it’d still manage a handful of goals and assists. Firmino is better than that scarecrow.
I’ll admit, I love Firmino’s creativity from the forward spot. He isn’t going to compete with Sane and Salah for goals, so he plays the role of foil and he plays it well.
And he still manages between 15 and 25 goal contributions every year. That’s a hearty tally, and a tally that he was contributing even before this attack really took off, though with less goals to his name and more assists.
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Lacazette has had two years now in a tumultuous, and each year, he has produced goals at a higher clip than Firmino, and Firmino has had a two year run-up.
Take last year, Lacazette’s debut year. Firmino managed a goal or assist every 126 minutes. Lacazette? Every 122. And again, this was Laca’s first year. In Firmino’s first year.
Last year, Lacazette took it up a bit, averaging every 119 minutes, while Firmino let off the pace in Liverpool’s most dynamic season in years. He averaged a contribution every 145 minutes.
Now, again, both play their roles well. But Firmino is the kind of guy who settles in behind the big stars and assumes his role. And that’s perfectly fine and useful. But Lacazette is the kind of guy who steps out and continues to blossom into even bigger roles and even bigger goal tallies.
This isn’t meant to discredit Firmino, like I said. It’s just meant to be a warning to this comparison that Lacazette has so much more yet to give, while Firmino has peaked at his current production. Give it some time and you’ll see.