Thanks to the official unveiling of former Lyon striker, Alexandre Lacazette to the tune of a five-year £52.7 ($68.1 million USD) move to Arsenal, the fifth-placed Gunners get a much-needed boost in their hopes of reclaiming English glory.
Arsenal, who finished fifth on the EPL table for the first time since the 1995-96 season, and below fierce North London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, finally landed that elusive world-class striker and finisher so desperately needed for Arsene Wenger’s side.
How such an issue is such a dilemma for a storied club that has fielded some of the all-time greatest strikers ever to play on a pitch such as Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira, Freddie Ljungberg, Ian Wright, Thierry Henry, Robin van Persie and Robert Pires is simply mind-boggling.
To accomplish such a fell swoop amidst a maelstrom of uncertainty over the long-term statuses of Alexis Sanchez, Oliver Giroud and Mesut Ozil, as either or all three could bolt the Emirates for greener pastures either via a transfer or next summer, landing a player of Lacazette’s class, could make them reconsider.
With Wenger locked up for another two years, and Arsenal rumored to be seeking the signatures of AS Monaco winger Thomas Lemar and Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez, the Gunners could finally have the firepower to ascend to the top of England.
Yes, they already have a quality side thanks to three of the talented individuals above, Arsenal’s biggest problem is their fickle inconsistency. If you are a Gooner, you know where I’m going with this.
For much of the last few year’s there has been a lot of premature musings of Arsenal being a quality side both in England and Europe, due to a couple of transfer signings, and when the season starts, Arsenal would often come out of the gates winning some easy fixtures comfortably against some of the lower-tier EPL sides, only to struggle, wilt and choke against the likes of quality championship sides such as Chelsea, Manchester City, and most recently, Leicester City late in the season.
While I will dare not risk having my Gooner supporter fan card revoked by Arsenal America in putting Tottenham or long-time nemesis, Manchester United in that same league, Spurs have one of the EPL’s most dangerous marksmen in Harry Kane, while United boss Jose Mourinho has had Wenger’s number for years.
Yes, Arsenal topped Chelsea in the FA Cup and defeated Man City in the FA Cup semi-finals, the Gunners managed only one point in a 2-2 draw and lost to City 2-1, and fought Leicester to a scoreless draw and a 2-1 win. Mixed results like these frustrate supporters who are ready to see Arsenal get over the proverbial mental hump in being a legitimate contender instead of a perennial pretender.
Getting Lacazette is a promising start in potentially providing Arsenal with its best finisher since the aforementioned Persie—despite what Arsenal supporters feel about him—considering their past success with French imports such as my all-time favorite player in King Henry, Lacazette could be the next great French import to grace the Emirates.
Only time and patience will tell.