Alexandre Lacazette has expressed his desire to leave Lyon in the summer and the French club have said they won’t block the move.
In his eight-year spell with Lyon, Lacazette has accumulated over 250 appearances, racking up 113 goals.The Frenchman is a super goalscorer with a reputation for being clinical and despite tailing off somewhat since scoring 31 goals in the 2014/15 season, Lacazette remains a force to be reckoned with.
Given Liverpool’s lack of a distinguished goalscoring presence, many fans have called for the signing of a centre-forward capable of scoring 20 goals in a Premier League season. If you look at Liverpool’s best seasons in recent years, the 2008/09 and 2013/14 campaigns stick out for one reason. In Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres, Liverpool had potent strikers, both capable of carrying a team if need be.
Liverpool have gone from relying on important players too much, with the likes of Steven Gerrard and Suarez being the club’s talismans, to having no-one to turn to when things get ugly.
Is Alexandre Lacazette that player for Liverpool?
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His goals to game ratio would certainly say so. In his last 162 games for the club (ever since his first 20-goal season), Lacazette has scored 98 goals. Bear in mind that he has scored 21 in 24 this season.
A big factor in Liverpool’s poor form this year is that the main goalscorers in the side have been misfiring or absent. Roberto Firmino isn’t scoring as consistently as he did in the beginning of the season, Philippe Coutinho was out for five weeks with an ankle injury and Sadio Mané has just returned from a month-long international commitment with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations.
With loss of form, injury and international duty robbing Liverpool of their three most efficient attackers, surely a natural number nine would suit the club more in times of strife than having Firmino as centre forward?
While you could certainly argue that Firmino functions best as a false striker, the absence of a genuine goalscorer, who worries less about build up play and more about the end product is hurting Liverpool in big ways.
So, I ask again. Is Lacazette that player for Liverpool?
The honest answer would be that I have no idea. There is every chance that Liverpool could sign the Frenchman for over £40 million and he could turn out to a flop, not quite cut out for the rigours of top-flight English football.
There is a potential snag, however.
Lyon’s president has said that he would be happy to allow Lacazette to leave. Cool? Yes, but only if Manchester United or Barcelona bid for him.
“If Barcelona or Manchester United one day make an offer commensurate with what Alex is worth to our club, no-one will stand in its way,” Jean-Michel Aulas said, via the Daily Mail.
“Alex has wanted to play in a great club and Lyon does not object. We are perfectly in line.”
Aulas believes that Lacazette should only leave to a club he believes to be in the elite bracket of football clubs and given Liverpool’s recent history, it’s unlikely for the French club to consider the Reds as a viable destination for his prized asset.
Even if Liverpool were to be unable to sign Lacazette, that shouldn’t discourage them from going after another top goalscorer as it’s absolutely vital to any Premier League or even Champions League ambitions that the club might have.
There is still plenty to play for in this Premier League season, but if current form is anything to go by, Liverpool will be in for yet another disappointing finish. The summer transfer window will be another period of transition with too few great players in attendance and too much ‘dead wood’ to deal with.
Signing Lacazette, or a player of his ilk, can’t hurt Liverpool but has massive potential to give them that extra something which has been lacking since Luis Suarez signed for Barcelona in 2014.
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