Leading Arsenal target Alexandre Lacazette has revealed that he was worried last season when rumours began to infer that he was going to leave Lyon, but that he could yet end up being asked to move on.
The France international is one of the key players at the Stade de Gerland, and his impressive displays have attracted interest from a host of European clubs. The Gunners, with their obvious ties to Ligue 1 through Arsene Wenger, have been mentioned strongly in the transfer speculation, with Emirates Stadium legend Thierry Henry recently singing his praises.
However, the 23-year-old has insisted that he didn’t like the transfer rumours abundant when he was hotly linked with a departure from Ligue 1 last summer, perhaps indicating that he’s far more happy to remain at Lyon than previously perceived. Lacazette did admit that several clubs are still monitoring him, and also made it clear that his future is in the hands of Lyon’s president, Jean Michel-Aulas.
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"Last year, when I was being talked about regarding a possible transfer, that worried me, because I struggled to deal with all the speculation which was coming from all sides," he told OL TV, according to the Daily Express.
"My aim is now to do my best this season and at the end of the season we shall see.
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"I know that several clubs are watching me, but I will think about whether I want to leave or stay later on and then we shall see"
"At the moment I cannot say if I am staying or not, because if a club puts a certain amount of millions of euros on the table, the President will probably tell me to leave.”
Arsenal move possible?
Come the summer Arsenal may well be inclined to test Lyon’s resolve with regards to retaining Lacazette’s services. In the past two years the Gunners have shown that they’re no longer restricted by the financial shackles put upon them as a result of their move to the Emirates Stadium with the purchases of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
As Wenger seeks to ensure his team can put up a better fight for the Premier League title next term - assuming the unthinkable doesn’t happen and they can’t somehow win it this year - the Frenchman will likely dip into the market once more, and in Lacazette he has a player who appears more than ready to make his big move.
Ligue 1 has in the past served as a useful training ground for players to hone their craft before moving to more competitive divisions. Players such as Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema and even Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud provide testament that France can be a useful supply line, and it would be strange for a player of Lacazette’s obvious ability to reject a move away that would see him have the chance to win more silverware.
With Arsenal already having a strong French contingent the Emirates Stadium could be an ideal place for him to cut his teeth outside of Ligue 1, and Wenger has a reputation with getting the best out of young players that will also serve as an attraction. It seems at the moment that the only potential obstacle in the move is Lacazette himself.
Arsenal fans, would you like to see Lacazette move to the Premier League? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below...