Alexandre Lacazette: Re-discovering his marksman role
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 14: Alex Lacazette celebrates scoring the 2nd Arsenal goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on March 14, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Whilst manager Mikel Arteta was finding his best formation and starting lineup at the beginning of the season, 2017 marquee signing Alexandre Lacazette was being played by the Spaniard in a more of a supporting role behind the striker, instead of his natural position of leading the line.

However since the turn of the new year, and returning from a slight injury, Lacazette is now either starting up top or is being used as an impact substitute. With three in his last four Premier League games, the Frenchman is turning heads.

With 13 goals in all competitions this season, only one behind club captain and top scorer Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Lacazette has saved the club's bacon on more than one occasion this season. 

More importantly, clinching the winning goal via a penalty to claim a vital three points against north-London rivals Spurs, has undoubtedly put Lacazette into the spotlight in a promising Arsenal team. 

  • In the right place at the right time

Being played as a lone striker in the 4-2-3-1 formation, Lacazette finds himself in and around the penalty area when the Gunners break up the field.

Close range finishes and latching on to the end of crosses are the striker's bread & butter and via Arteta's positioning of him, he has been able to make the most of that. 

Not only a finisher, Lacazette makes 0.8 key passes per game from the number 10 position. This could be the reason that his manager played him in a more supporting role, which led to criticism of the player earlier on in the season. 

Instead of using his creative passing abilities in a supporting role, 'Laca' is best utilised up-top where he can hold up the ball, take down crosses and follow the ball out wide if needed. 

  • Rise & fall & rise again

Alex Lacazette has been unable to match his Premier League goal scoring tally of 14 goals from his debut season at the club. 

Having played all but one of Arsenal's games in their 2018/19 PL campaign, the club record signing only managed to score 13 goals in 35 games- promising but not impressive enough to match his £46.5 million pound price tag. 

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