Five facts on French international striker Alexandre Lacazette, after he signed for English Premier League side Arsenal on Wednesday for a club-record fee that could rise to 60 mn euros ($68m, £52.56m) from Ligue 1 outfit Lyon:
Falls foul of Lyon faithful
Lacazette may have provided many great moments for Lyon fans but they are an unforgiving lot. As soon as he remarked in February that a big move would interest him they were on his back. It left him ‘psychologically destroyed’, according to Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas.
“Alexandre hasn’t betrayed the club. He simply said that one day if like his friend Sam (Umtiti) he could go play for Barcelona or if like Karim Benzema, who left for Real Madrid and everyone was happy for him, he could go to a big club, he might,” commented Aulas.
Lacazette for his part didn’t hold a grudge about that and made clear his love of the club before the final game of the season.”It is the club of my heart,” he said. “The most important moments in my life have been at Lyon,” added the 26-year-old.
As good as Messi, Ronaldo.....
Former Lyon forward Sonny Anderson didn’t let hyperbole get in the way of making a comparison to the two players generally acknowledged to be the greatest players in the world at the moment.
“What he is doing at the moment is alsmost as good as what (Cristiano) Ronaldo or (Lionel) Messi are doing, only that playing in France he receives less media exposure,” the Brazilian told SoFoot.
Having scored more than 20 times a season for the past four campaigns he has a fantastic record, but Anderson’s words will be more firmly tested in the more competitive Premier League.
Will he get accustomed?
Perhaps the biggest problem Lacazette will face is getting accustomed to living anywhere else but Lyon. It could be doubly difficult that he is moving to another country entirely.
He is Lyon through and through having been born there, began playing football with a junior club in the city and then got taken on by Lyon aged 12.
“Yes I score goals but in Europe in general I am not well known. I have a desire to see if I can respond to the questions that a lot of people have posed about me and to make progress as a player even more,” he said.
Football in the blood
Lacazette is not alone in his family in enjoying a playing career, one of his siblings Benoit did not reach his heady heights but did play abroad in the Swiss fourth division. Two of his other brothers look after his financial affairs.
His cousin Romuald Lacazette was on Paris Saint-Germain’s books, but the midfielder never played for the first team and was snapped up by then German second-tier outfit 1860 Munich in 2015.
Singing the Blues?
His international career at senior level has been a bit stop-start, winning 10 caps from 2013-15, scoring once, before a two-year hiatus and a recall from coach Didier Deschamps in June. He enjoyed a successful time at all age levels from Under-16 to Under-21.
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