Alexandre Lacazette has worked tirelessly on the pitch this year. From being entrenched in a dire run of form after the beginning of the season, the French striker has undergone a renaissance at Arsenal. With dynamic players all around him, quicker distribution, support from deep and the creation of actual chances (finally), Lacazette has led the line well.
He drops deep, he holds the ball up well and he scores. What more could we ask for? The first might be decisiveness on his contract situation.
The summer will see his contract dwindle to 12 months before he can leave for free. If Arsenal want to move him on, they should do so at the end of the season. His upturn in form has caused his value to surge and his sale can go towards Mikel Arteta’s rebuild if he and Edu decide to go that route. To be honest, they should.
The first issue is his age. The center-forward will be 30 by the time the summer transfer window rolls around. You would expect the board to have learned their lesson about giving older players nice fat contracts but they continue to amaze. With the disaster that is Willian, however, I hope that that is enough to signal a shift in transfer strategy.
Arsenal should sell Alexandre Lacazette in the summer transfer window
The Arsenal team is getting younger all across the pitch. Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe are cementing their place in the starting lineup; Gabriel Martinelli is working his way back up to full fitness; the midfield is admittedly a bit older but no player in the center of the park is over 28; the backline has yet to reach their peak as well.
A well-rounded, younger striker would continue to provide that extra zip and willingness to press that has helped Arsenal win games over the past few weeks. Furthermore, if Arteta moves back to a 4-3-3, then Lacazette doesn’t suit.
The second issue is his inconsistency. While it’s hope that Lacazette continues to be a lethal striker for the rest of the season, he has proven throughout his time in north London that he is especially susceptible to barren stretches. He is a confidence player and once that confidence starts to wane, the hole to pull himself out of grows deeper.
The third issue, or benefit rather, is his potential transfer fee. The fee that he might bring in could go towards signing a upgraded striker yet to hit his peak and that has higher resale value. While I love Lacazette and I will truly miss his special bond with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, it’s time to move him on while the chance remains.