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Scouting report - French journalist Damien Degorre on Arsenal's Lacazette

Posted on 17 November 2017  - 11:38

Striker Alexandre Lacazette was a high-profile arrival at Arsenal from French side Lyon over the summer. Ahead of this weekend’s north London derby, we spoke to Damien Degorre, journalist at French newspaper L'Equipe, to find out about how the front man has developed over recent years and what his main strengths are…

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Alexandre Lacazette

- Born in Lyon, France
- Came up through the youth system at his hometown club
- Scored 129 goals in 275 senior appearances for Lyon, 2010-2017
- Team-mate of Hugo Lloris at Lyon until 2012
- Capped by France at all levels from Under-16 to senior
- Six goals in 12 appearances for Arsenal since the summer

degorre_730Damien Degorre, journalist, L'Equipe

“At the beginning at Lyon it was quite complicated for him because he didn’t play as a centre-forward, he played on the right side, but his main qualities were to play like a striker. After Karim Benzema left for Real Madrid in 2009, Lyon were looking for a replacement. They didn’t ask Lacazette to play as a striker straight away because Lisandro Lopez arrived and he was waiting on the right side, even though it wasn’t his best position. He became the striker after the European Championship in 2012 – that was the time he became the number nine for Lyon. He was the symbol of the good work which is done in Lyon’s academy along with Corentin Tolisso, now at Bayern Munich, and Maxime Gonalons, now at Roma.

“It took time before becoming what he is now – a good striker, someone who has very good movement on the field. He’s not the strongest in the air but he feels when he has to ask for the ball, he feels where he has to be on the field. He’s quite good technically and maybe I could compare him to Benzema in his way of playing – he’s not very physical but he’s very fast, he has a good touch and a good technique. He can score at the drop of a hat thanks to a very good right foot – one good ball is enough for him.

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Above: Alexandre Lacazette celebrates scoring for Lyon last season.

“It’s difficult for a player like Lacazette, who played for seven or eight years in the French top flight, to be very good immediately in the Premier League. All French players need time for adaptation at the beginning. During the months of August and September in the Premier League, there is sometimes quite a surprise effect, but after that they need time because the Premier League is a very physical league, very intense with a lot of freedom – it’s not the same as the French league. Even Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Samir Nasri all needed a few months to be ready to have an impact in the Premier League. Lacazette did well in his first weeks at Arsenal but we can see today, it’s more difficult for him. He needs to be patient, to adapt himself to the difficulties of the Premier League, but I’m sure he can impose himself on the league because he’s a real striker. He needs to be patient.”