In recent days, the usual broth of transfer noise has seen certain ingredients dominate the usual recipe of lies, desperate agents and wannabee’s who would sell their closest relative’s for 1000 retweets.
In amongst the detritus which should come with a health warning, certain names have risen to the top of the bubbling mixture and it not only changes the whole mixture, but it also cranks the gas up a few notches. The more a name is mentioned, the more froth flies from fanbases.
In relation to this, step forward Alexandre Lacazette.
The Lyon striker has probably had more lines written surrounding his near future than any other player – and this includes the stories about Cristiano Ronaldo announcing his ‘intention’ to depart Real Madrid.
Yes, the French 26yr old striker has been this week’s back pages darling, and the hullabaloo surrounding him is embroiling Arsenal.
Lyon Chairman Jean-Michel Aulas has done nothing to keep a lid on this foaming pot either. Aulas – dependant on who you believe – has spoken regularly regarding his prized asset, and is whipping up this madcap auction in a bid to ensure Lyon receive justifiable payment for the loss of Lacazette.
In the space of one week, we have had a large amount of soundbites from Aulas, but the candid nature of his comments raises alarms somewhat. When was the last time a Chairman was so open with his hand regarding a transfer?
The sources are varied, but these are reportedly direct comments from Aulas, so if these were fabricated, then these publications would be in severe hot water if they had indeed materialised these titbits.
What could well be the case is that there may well be something lost in translation. It wouldn’t be the first time a transfer link ended in a puff of smoke.
That being said though, there is definitely interest from Arsenal it seems. With daily column inches dedicated to the chase for Lacazette, there cannot be this much bluster without there being tangible truth somewhere.
What we cannot discern, is what stage our club is at with the player.
Have we agreed terms? Has Lacazette even agreed to come to The Emirates? After all, according to his Chairman, Atletico Madrid have offered more money. The only stumbling block regarding this move is that The Spanish club are transfer embargoed until January. If they were not inhibited from spending, then Lacazette would surely now be in the colours of Atletico.
In amongst all of this smoke and mirrors, we have all had our say. With our club apparently chasing after French prodigy Kylian Mbappe as well, the gauge from social networks appear to favour a move for the younger Frenchman, and a lukewarm reception to our interest in Lacazette in some corners.
Is this fair though? Of course, if last season’s promise shown from Mbappe is the real deal, then he will be the next big thing in football. He will be a future Ballon D’or winner. It’s a hell of a gamble though. We have all seen our fair share of starlets burning bright before fizzling out.
Whereas Alexandre Lacazette can stand tall knowing he has shown enough to warrant a big move.
Over 100 goals in just 203 appearances (over 30 of which were substitute appearances) which means a ratio of one goal in every two games. He has been in the Ligue Un Team of the Year three times in total. In 2016, he bagged 26 goals in a season – the most by a Frenchman in their native league since Jean-Pierre Papin in 1991.
Still not convinced? Well, according to Sky Sports News, Lacazette had the highest chance conversion rate in Europe’s top five league’s last season, with 38.9%. That beats Falcao at Monaco with 33.9% and Timo Werner of RB Leipzig with 34.4%. Also, there are only nine strikers who have scored more than Lacazette since 2012/13, and they are Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez, Ibrahimovic, Lewandowski, Cavani, Higuain, Aubameyang and Aguero.
Lacazette is the real deal. He scores for fun in Ligue Un, in the big games against PSG and Monaco, in European ties. The striker is still only 26 and has not yet hit his peak. His finishing, his strength, his expert positioning, his sudden turn of pace which gives him that crucial yard – all combine to give him the edge over defenders.
Kylian Mbappe may still be possible, but all the while we are linked with Lacazette I’m not too concerned.
Whether there is meat on the bone of this story is another thing, but keep your eyes on BBC Sport’s very own David Ornstein. If we are close to swooping in, then the Ornacle himself will most likely the man breaking the true story.
We are all seeking an improvement to the squad – and Alexandre Lacazette will most definitely do just that should he sign.