Monday, March 20, 2023

Arsenal Moving Closer to Lacazette Deal: Should Wenger Sell Any Of His Attackers To Make Way?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

Arsenal are closer than ever to landing their long-term target Alexandre Lacazette from Ligue 1 side AS Lyon. The Gunners are in dire need of attacking reinforcements this summer, as they fell out of the top four for the first time in more than a decade. Manager Arsene Wenger’s contract renewal, despite the season going haywire, has further left the Arsenal fans fuming with anger, and the manager under terrific pressure.

The Frenchman has taken the onus upon himself to get the transfers done this time and Arsenal fans finally are hoping for some big arrivals at the Emirates. However, that would mean some departures from the Arsenal camp as well as the Gunners will be under pressure to get in new players as well as accommodate the wage demands of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

With names like Carl Jenkinson, Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere and Lucas Perez already potential departure in the next few weeks, Wenger will surely get to clear up some of the liabilities. Arsenal have to reportedly pay in the region of £44 million to secure his services and with an initial bid of £40 million rejected by the side, they are expected to wrap it up soon.

However, his arrival has led many to raise questions of a further exodus from Arsenal’s attacking weaponry.  The Gunners still have the likes of Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud apart from Sanchez who are regulars in the sole forward position. And while Arsenal aren’t willing to let Sanchez go, Lacazette coming in could also mean any of the options leaving this summer.

Giroud had reportedly once even been a part of the Lacazette deal, however, those rumours soon fizzled out as Lyon has sealed other forwards already. Arsenal were really fortunate in a way to have the player available, following Atletico Madrid’s suspension from making any transfers. The Frenchman had reportedly already agreed to personal terms with the Spanish side but a deal could not go through, due to the ban.

Lyon’s president, Jean-Michel Aulas, said, “Alexandre should have left for Atletico [Madrid], but that could not be done, he wants to leave and we want to keep him, but the decision is not made and recent offers have confirmed his wishes.”

We are of the opinion, Arsenal would stick to keep the all attacking options intact for next season. With the Europa League challenge next season, Arsenal will have to play innumerable midweek fixtures if they are to go all the way, which would need consistent results week in week out. The availability of Giroud, Welbeck, Walcott and Lacazette would be quintessential to execute that properly.

Apart from that, Sanchez is widely expected to leave Emirates this summer or the next, which makes Arsenal’s need to hold on to their available options all the more necessary.

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