Arsenal are a side who are globally renowned for their attacking philosophy and strong French connection thanks to Arsene Wenger’s 22-year reign in north London.
The immense success Wenger enjoyed during his career with the club arrived in part due to the performances of a handful of excellent France international’s, including: Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires and, of course, Thierry Henry.
The latter was truly a one-of-a-kind striker whom the club have struggled to replace ever since, but the Gunners’ decision to sign another French forward last summer, namely Alexandre Lacazette, was made with the intention of supplying Wenger with a clinical centre-forward who could potentially become the next Henry-type figure.
It’s not been plain sailing for the 27-year-old since he arrived at the Emirates Stadium as he has been heavily criticised by some supporters despite the fact he found the net 14 times from just 26 Premier League starts last season.
Lacazette has been forced to be patient under Unai Emery as he was left on the substitutes bench for the opening 3 fixtures before he was handed his first start against Cardiff City last Sunday.
But Lacazette ensured he will be one of the first names on the team sheet when Arsenal return to action next weekend by providing an assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s sumptuous second-half strike before scoring an emphatic winning goal with less than 10 minutes remaining.
And it appears Lacazette really caught the eye of the former Arsenal lynchpin Martin Keown with his match-winning performance at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Within Keown’s weekly Q&A blog published by the Daily Mail, he was asked what he had been impressed by under Emery since he took charge at the club and he took the opportunity to single out Lacazette (valued at £54 million by Transfermarkt) for special praise for his ‘impeccable’ attitude.
After being left out of the starting eleven for Arsenal’s first 3 fixtures of the season – including clashes against both Manchester City and Chelsea – it would have been easy for Lacazette to become disheartened with his position at the club, but he demonstrated his professionalism on Sunday with his game-changing performance at the spearhead of the attack.
His record since arriving at the club suggests he has made a bright start to life in English football, and if he continues to show the clinical instinct which enabled him to slam home Arsenal’s winning goal against Cardiff there is no doubt he has the potential to reach the 100-goal mark in the seasons to come.
Keown was absolutely right to single out Lacazette for praise this week but it’s vital that he continues to adopt the same attitude throughout the season if he wants to break into Emery’s regular starting eleven.
Arsenal fans – thoughts on Lacazette? Let us know below!