what to expect with the "Lacazette 2022"?

what to expect with the “Lacazette 2022”?

Alexandre Lacazette (AFP PHOTO / JEFF PACHOUD)

The formalization of the return of Alexandre Lacazette is long overdue but it is already possible to imagine what the striker could bring to OL. Five years after his departure, the striker has evolved in his game, what to revise the expectations?

The hours pass, the days too and theOL continues to maintain the suspense. Having seen the information leak perhaps a little too soon, the club raised a wait that today seems endless and unbearable for Lyon supporters. More than five days after the announcement of an agreement in principle with Alexandre Lacazette, still no formalization. Discussions are continuing regarding certain details but the finish is not in question. While waiting for all these little people to make this return official, it’s time to find out what the “New Lacazette” can bring to this second Lyon episode.


A strong leadership role


First point and perhaps the most important for theOL now, the return to a Lyon identity with a gondola head to embody this project unveiled by Jean-Michel Aulas. With Lacazettethe Lyon club manages to bring together in a single player someone capable of bringing experience thanks to his stay at Arsenal but also to certain wild evenings at Parc OL while playing on the local fiber.

“This return seems super coherent in terms of the project. The club is extending Caqueret, has a base with Lukeba and Gusto and perhaps Cherki if he comes back well. They will really allow us to rebuild the identity of the club, notes Arthur Merle, Eurosport journalist and regular OL follower. Whether in terms of storytelling and even a project conveyed internally to the players, you want something coherent. You have a real guideline with a change in mentalities.”

By signing the kid from Mermoz, OL unwittingly buys social peace with its supporters and finds itself with a player capable of making the link between those of the region and the others. This season Anthony lopes had part of this cap but with Lacazette, it is one more step in this desire to create a real collective unity. During his first adventure, the attacker had already shown that he had the shoulders to bang his fist on the table when things were not going well. Five years later, this role is all the more integrated in him, after having played the big brothers at the Gunners. A quality which was also highlighted during his last season, which was statistically less successful (only 4 goals).

“With the departure of Aubameyang and this duo that can leave regrets, he recovered the armband and showed himself as a real leader, Charles concedes wattsLondon correspondent for Goal. He really took this role to heart, whether in matches or in training, where he managed to mix good humor and seriousness when necessary. But last season showed that Lacazette is now past his best.”


A profile that has changed over the past 5 years


At 31, Alexander Lacazette is still in full force of age. For many attackers, this period corresponds to when talent and experience are best expressed together. In London, there remains a taste of unfinished business, in Lyon the excitement of seeing the child of the city return. However, it must be understood that the passage from Lacazette to Arsenal made it evolve. If he scored only four goals last season, the explanation lies halfway between the lack of confidence and his role played in the workforce. Much less a scorer in the soul if one could say, the French international has really turned into a kind of false number 9 with very fast wingers like saka taking up space.

His advanced statistics on FBREF show it, he finds himself well above average when it comes to working for the team (pressure, tackles, interceptions, assists) when his contribution as a pure attacker (xG , shots) is well below. The Lyon supporters had seen a few snippets of it during his first visit but will have to get used to it. Today, this sense of a losing striker is all the more apparent with this move to the Premier League but can fit perfectly with Peter’s demands. Bosch.

“He’s less of a goalscorer but maybe more hardworking in a 9 1/2 role who’s going to drop a lot, defend a lot and display a mentality that should be beyond reproach, continues the Eurosport journalist. His arrival can allow Bosz to really set up his game plan with a very playful, very hard-working 9 that will allow the pure wingers to play and throw in the spaces. It will free up space in the axle.”


What about Dembele?


Still it is necessary that the management of theOL manages to get his hands on real wingers… This arrival of Lacazette, which should therefore not delay any longer, also raises the question of the place of Moussa Dembele. At the end of the contract in a year, the striker has fulfilled his role perfectly this season with the status of top scorer and captain. Functions that the club now seems to want to give to Lacazette. Are the two so incompatible? For Arthur Merle, “This return is an opportunity to start from scratch, especially since both will want to be starters.”

Only, Dembélé is in no hurry to leave and imagining a 4-4-2 diamond or flat system can be attractive. But there is clearly a catch in this fantasy. By retaining Peter Bosz, Jean-Michel Aulas wanted to choose continuity and offer the Dutch coach what he finally needed. In his recent experience at Ajax, Dortmund and Leverkusen, Bosz relied on an unremovable 4-3-3 and today it is difficult to see him making any more concessions after this failed season. On paper, an association between Lacazette and Dembele, two attackers with different profiles but who like to play as a fulcrum, is exciting if the former Gunner can occupy even the current position of Paquetà but far away in the Lyon reality. In any case, one thing is certain, Lacazette will not straighten out OL’s house on his own. His arrival is only the first stone of this reconstruction.

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