Lyon forward and reported Arsenal target Alexandre Lacazette has confirmed he will leave the club this summer, with Atletico Madrid the favourites for his signature.
“I want to discover something else, to put myself under pressure and to gain a level,” he told L’Equipe (h/t Alex Richards of the Daily Mirror).
As noted by Richards, Arsenal have been strongly linked with a move for the player, although it’s anticipated he will join Atletico.
When asked about potentially linking up with his compatriot Antoine Griezmann with the La Liga side, Lacazette admitted he was excited by the prospect.
“Yes, it would be a beautiful story if we could go on (to play) together,” he said of Griezmann. “It is a great team, in a new stadium, and it is also a club that makes the players progress.”
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images
During his time in French football’s top flight Lacazette has established himself as one of the very best forwards on the continent. Here’s a glimpse at what he can offer:
In previous seasons, Lacazette’s goals have been enough to help fire Lyon into the UEFA Champions League, although with the club set to miss out on Europe’s elite club competition this season, it’s no surprise the 25-year-old is considering a new challenge.
Whichever club does land Lacazette would be getting a tremendous forward. The Frenchman is exhilarating to watch at times, as he can drop off the front, out wide and drive at defenders with the ball. Additionally, his movement on the last line of defence is razor sharp.
Crucially, as noted by WhoScored.com, Lacazette is also ruthless when chances do come his way:
Alexandre Lacazette: Of the 41 players to 15+ goals in Europe’s top 5 leagues, Lacazette has the best conversion rate (31.7%) this season https://t.co/JmeXjLXUqo
5/16/2017, 11:30:01 AM
The prospect of him linking up with someone like Griezmann is an exciting one for those who watch Atleti.
Indeed, Kevin Gameiro hasn’t totally convinced since his arrival at the club, while Fernando Torres is an impact option at best. Another dynamic, prolific and industrious player at the point of the attack would make a huge difference to Diego Simeone’s side.
However, according to Kieran Canning of AFP, there’s still a chance the switch may not go through:
Kieran Canning @KieranCanning
Re #Lacazette to #Atletico stories. Deal was done months ago, but is obviously pending Atletico getting transfer ban lifted
5/16/2017, 11:43:22 PM
If the transfer does fall through Arsenal may yet get the striker. Although Alexis Sanchez has thrived in an advanced role this season, the Gunners still lack a natural, world-class No. 9 in their squad.
Lacazette may not quite be at that standard yet. But playing alongside better players and under a savvier coach would potentially harness his tremendous attributes to even more devastating effect.