Alexandre Lacazette believes he has all the attributes needed to help fire Arsenal to the Premier League title next season after completing his dream move.
The 26-year-old’s protracted transfer from home-town club Lyon was finally confirmed yesterday.
While the Gunners would only confirm Lacazette had signed on a “long-term contract, for an undisclosed fee”, it is understood to be a club-record deal which surpasses the £42.4million (€47m) paid to Real Madrid for Mesut Ozil in 2013 and could end up as high as £52million.
Lacazette netted 37 goals in all competitions last season and becomes the Gunners’ second major summer addition following the arrival of left-back Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer from Schalke.
The 26-year-old is determined he can add a cutting edge to a squad which failed to finish in the top four of the Premier League for the first time in Arsene Wenger’s 20-year reign, although did go on to lift the FA Cup with victory over champions Chelsea at Wembley.
Lacazette continued: “When I play I like to use my pace and to link up with my team-mates. As a forward of course I like to score goals, but that is not all that I am about.
“I love good flowing football where the whole team is engaged. First of all you need to have players behind you who pass the ball well, resulting in good goalscoring opportunities.
“I want to give 100% in every match I want to show I am worthy of the shirt. I want to do everything I can to make sure we win titles.”
Gunners boss Wenger is in no doubt of what Lacazette can add to the squad. “He has shown over a number of years that he can score goals and that he is a very efficient finisher. As well, he has very interesting technical qualities and a strong character,” Wenger said. “He is a guy who is a great addition for us, and someone who will help us challenge at the top level this season.”
The arrival of Lacazette may have bolstered the Gunners attack, but it also casts doubt over the future of fellow France international Olivier Giroud, who has been linked with a £20m move to both Everton and West Ham.
Arsenal also are looking to tie down key men Alexis Sanchez and Ozil, both of whom have just one year left on current deals. Sanchez has been linked with Manchester City, Chelsea and Bayern Munich.
Whatever the final make-up of his side next season, Wenger will be expected to challenge for the title once again, having penned a two-year contract extension earlier in the summer, with other transfer targets said to now include Monaco’s Thomas Lemar as well as Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez.
Meanwhile Stoke City have accepted a £3m bid from Burnley for Ireland striker Jon Walters. The 33-year-old is yet to agree terms but if they can be thrashed out, Walters will leave the Britannia Stadium for Sean Dyche’s side at the weekend.
Walters has made more than 250 appearances for Stoke, scoring 62 goals.
He has scored crucial goals for Ireland, scoring the equaliser in the World Cup qualifier against Austria at Aviva Staidum last month.
Glenn Whelan is also on the verge of leaving Stoke with Steve Bruce close to bringing him to Aston Villa.
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