After an average season in the league, finishing fourth, and a deep run in the Europa League, Olympique Lyonnais finally seem like they will have to give up their most prized possession, star striker Alexandre Lacazette.
Rumours linking him to almost every top club on the continent have been rife for the last 3 seasons and they don’t seem like they are going to stop anytime soon. A move to Atletico Madrid seemed very much on the cards, but their transfer ban was upheld and hence that move has scuppered. Since his options are now open, it seemed a good idea to have him on this week’s scout report.
Lacazette was born in 1991 in the city of Lyon and has been part of the Lyon setup since 2003, when he was just 12 years old. Lacazette has played in all classes of the French youth teams and began his career as a winger before being shifting to a central role, a secondary striker of sorts, soon he was made the main man up top and that’s where he finally began to fulfil his potential.
He ended the 2014-15 season as the Ligue 1 top scorer with 27 goals in 33 appearances, also winning the Ligue 1 Player of the Year, which led to him being linked to various clubs all over Europe including English heavyweights Arsenal.
But instead of moving on, Lacazette stayed loyal to his hometown club and signed an extension at the start of 2015-16 season. The 2015-16 season was not as fruitful as the earlier campaign as Lacazette managed only 21 goals in the league, but he was nagged by back injuries in the early parts of the season. The interest in him dwindled a bit and he chose again to stay with his current employers and build his reputation as one of Europe’s most dangerous marksmen.
His decision to stay proved wise as he ended the season with his best ever goal tally, 28 goals in the league and 37 goals across all competitions in 45 appearances. Lyon’s failure to qualify for the Champions League was the last straw and president Jean-Michel Aulas is willing to cash in.
Standing at 5’9, he is not great aerially and most of his goals are from his stronger right foot. From playing as a secondary striker to becoming the main man up front, his poaching instincts have developed very well and his pace allows him to take on defenders with ease. He is quite strong for his size and has a low centre of gravity enabling him to hold off defenders with his back to goal quite well. He does not shoot in high volumes but has scored a lot of goals, which speaks highly about his quality of shots, but Ligue 1 do not have the best of keepers so it could be a very different case in another league.
Lacazette has developed into one of the best striking prospects in Europe and is yet to hit his peak. With the money bags on offer from the Premier League, a move to Dortmund could prove a better suit for two reasons. Firstly, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seems likely to leave for greener pastures and this offers Lacazette the chance to be main man up front for a top club playing in the Champions League. Secondly, Dortmund are known for playing an up-tempo attacking and attractive brand of football and should continue doing so under newly installed manager Peter Bosz, which could help Lacazette become one of the elite strikers in the continent.
All in all, Dortmund seems a very good fit for Lacazette and both parties could benefit from this partnership. But even Ciro Immobile seemed like a very good fit, and we all know how that ended.