The Premier League kicks off tomorrow and one Arsenal player that will be looking to have an immediate impact in the home game against Leicester City is the clubs new club record signing, Alexandre Lacazette.
The Frenchman arrived for £46million this summer and is coming to the club with plenty of expectation on his shoulder. The 26-year-old has consistently proven his goal scoring ability in France, but the Premier League is a different ball game and it will take a lot for Lacazette to beat the SportNation.com 4/1 favourite Harry Kane to the golden boot – but is he capable?
I think whether he can or not depends a lot on whether or not the players behind him can stay fit and perform to a high level. Lacazette isn’t particularly a player that can create a lot out of nothing, but if the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil stick around and play consistently well, then Lacazette can expect to get a lot of chances to score – and when he does, he usually finishes them. He showed glimpses in the Community Shield of his quality, with an excellent effort striking the post when the score was still 0-0.
It’s time the likes of Alex Iwobi started to become more effective in the final third too. For all his potential, he does lack final product and that will need to improve if he is going to aid Lacazette in his pursuit of the golden boot. The Nigerian forward managed just 3 Premier League assists in 26 appearances last season (18 starts), not good enough for a team of Arsenal’s attacking quality, but perhaps Lacazette’s arrival will help the 21-year-old improve in this department.
Heading into his prime, Lacazette will want to hit the ground running but the reality is that the Premier League environment is very different to his recent experiences and it is very likely that there will need to be a period of adjustment for the Frenchman, not only to get used to the league and the opposition but also his teammates, to build an understanding and a telepathy in attack.
From what I’ve seen of him Lacazette may have to up his work rate a little in order to create more opportunities for himself – in the Premier League you do not get a lot of time and space and he needs to adapt to that and work to create his own chances at times.
Heading into the opening round of fixtures, it’s worth noting that SportNation.bet are offering money back on Arsenal if Spurs get beaten. Certainly, a tempting offer considering Tottenham travel to a hostile St James Park in their opening game.
If Kane can replicate his 29-goal haul from last season then it will take some beating, but if the Englishman drops off of the pace at all then you can expect Lacazette to be breathing down his neck.
Nothing will be better for Lacazette than a debut goal in the Premier League, as the media will soon be on his back if it takes him some time to net his first, we know just how unforgiving the English media can be. If he can get into form and develop an understanding with the players around him, there’s no reason Lacazette cannot challenge Kane for the golden boot.