Arsenal have been quoted a fee for Olympique Lyonnais striker Alexandre Lacazette, one that would make the Frenchman the club’s record signing.
The Gunners will have to pay a reported £48.7 million up front plus add-ons that could bump the total transfer to in excess of £58 million.
But is a new centre-forward what Arsenal need next season? And has Alexandre Lacazette’s performances in Ligue 1 and the Champions League warranted such a fee?
Perhaps the transfer fee will be less of an issue if Arsenal land a healthy profit from the sale of Alexis Sanchez, which seems likely as Bayern Munich and Manchester City continue their attempts to sign the former Barcelona player.
Regarding goal-scoring, Arsenal’s transfer target would go a long way to covering the 30 goals that would be exiting the team if Sanchez departs.
Lacazette finished the season as Lyon’s top-scorer and Ligue 1’s second top-scorer with 28 goals in 30 appearances.
That’s four more league goals than Alexis Sanchez’s 2016/17 total, despite the Chilean playing eight more games, and more than the combined league goals scored by Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Lucas Perez.
In Europe, Lacazette’s scoring touch continued. He struggled in the Champions League, scoring just once from four appearances, but came to life once again in the Europa League. He scored six times from eight appearances, registering him as the joint-third top-scorer in the competition.
In domestic cup competitions, Lacazette added a further two goals from two appearances in the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue, bringing his tally to 37 goals from 45 appearances in all competitions.
That leaves Lacazette with a goal-per-game ratio that rivals the Premier League’s Golden Boot winner, Harry Kane. The Englishman average a goal per game in the Premier League in 2016/17, which ranks slightly better than Lacazette’s 0.9 goals per game in Ligue 1 this term.
Of course, the step-up in difficulty between Ligue 1 and the English Premier League must be taken into consideration, but as far as goal-scoring goes, Lacazette ticks all the boxes.
His consistency in front of goal is another aspect of his game that has attracted so much attention from top clubs in Europe.
Lacazette has finished his last four seasons with goal tallies of more than 20 in all competitions, and league tallies of 20 and above in each of his last three seasons.
Arsenal are also keen on another Ligue 1 striker: Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe. The teenager took the football world by storm last season, so much so that Arsenal reportedly offered the French champions £88.5 million for his services, which was swiftly rejected by Monaco.