There are managers and players who seemed destined to be together.
Some managers have love-affairs with certain stars and sign them wherever they go, others pick them regardless of the form they’re in. This is something that can be taken advantage of if managed accordingly, exactly what Arsenal must do so.
When Arsene Wenger signed Alexandre Lacazette in 2017 it was seen as an almighty coup. 60 goals in his previous two seasons with Lyon made him hot property on the continent, with a series of clubs interested in prizing him away from Ligue 1.
Atletico Madrid won the race for his signature with a verbal agreement between player and club for the Frenchman to join Diego Simeone‘s side, only for Los Rojiblancos to fall out of the race after their transfer ban was imposed. Unable to bring players in, Arsenal pounced, breaking records to sign him.
Lacazette’s form has since tailed off following a solid first two seasons, but unlike his scoring rates, Atletico remain fully invested.
Links to the Spanish capital haven’t dissipated even after he joined the Gunners, with Simeone blatantly smitten with his profile as a player. As per La Razon, Lacazette is being eyed as a potential replacement for Diego Costa, whose contract is expiring in the summer.
Any move would be put off until the end of the season, as the Spanish club would be able to negotiate a better deal given the 29-year-old will have just 12 months left on his contract by that time.
Lacazette would ‘welcome’ the idea but has been held back due to Arsenal’s high demands, all of which would be lessened considerably if his form continues, coupled with the contract situation. As we now know, Arsenal turned down a ‘substantial’ bid from Roma for their No. 9 in the summer (David Ornstein), a decision which looks more foolish by the day.
If Atletico are serious in the summer, then he’s got to go. We crave an upgrade in that department and it isn’t like Lacazette lost his ability overnight. He’s still a fine forward, just one bereft of confidence and not suited to the current system.
Furthermore, as one of few valuable assets, he must be looked at seriously as a potential departure. I’m in the firm belief that Mikel Arteta wants a change, and that the reason they shunned Roma’s advances was due to not being able to acquire a replacement, above other factors, one of which being that Gabriel Martinelli is destined to be the club’s starting centre-forward.
Simeone’s adoration for Lacazette is there to be taken advantage of. Granted, whatever the fee is it will constitute a loss, but the losses we’re facing are inevitable setbacks stemming from poor recruitment under the previous regimes.