Alexandre Lacazette looks set to leave Lyon this summer, with the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United all reported to be considering bids in the region of £60m for the player.
Despite being one of the most prolific strikers in European football, and being persistently linked with some of the biggest clubs in the county, there will be some English football fans unaware of the player.
So what do people need to know ahead of a possible summer move to either Liverpool, Arsenal or Manchester United? Here are six things to get you started.
He’s one of the most in-form forwards in Europe
The Frenchman scored 36 goals in 44 appearances for Lyon last season, including 28 goals in 31 games in Ligue 1. He’s one of the most reliable strikers in French football, with 65% of shots hitting the target over the course of the season. He helped Lyon to an impressive fourth place in 2016/17, behind Nice, PSG and Monaco, finishing second top-scorer behind PSG’s Edison Cavani with 35 goals – it’s little wonder so many clubs are interested.
He’s far more than just a striker
Much like current Liverpool players Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, Lacazette can play anywhere across the front three. While he prefers to play as a main striker through the centre, his great pace also makes him a good option on the wings, and he actually came through the ranks at Lyon as a winger, before converting to a more traditional number 9. Lacazette’s versatility could make him a good option for Liverpool if he decides to offer big money for the player, especially given Jurgen Klopp’s preference for fluid tactical set-ups.
He’s Lyon through and through
Lacazette has been playing his football at Lyon his entire career, and he’ll take a lot of convincing to leave the Parc Olympique Lyonnais. The forward has a really strong connection with the club and its supporters, having played there since the age of 12. 200 games and 100 goals after making his debut, he’s become a real hero at the club, and it’ll take something special to convince him to leave. He’s proven himself to be loyal in the past too, having being linked with moves to high-profile European clubs since as early as 2010. However, the player could be tempted away by Champions League football, after Lyon missed out on the qualification places last year.
He owes Claude Puel big
Current Southampton boss Claude Puel might not be endearing himself to supporters down on the south coast, but he certainly has one fan in the form of Lacazette. Puel gave Lacazette his first taste of professional football by handing him his debut back in 2010. Lacazette was just 18 at the time, but Puel – who also brought Eden Hazard through the ranks at Lyon – saw something special in him and played a big part in his early development.
Injuries could be a problem
For all the positives, there are some slightly concerning stats any team would have to consider before making a move for the striker. His hugely successful season has shown him to be slightly injury prone, after separate thigh and knee injuries kept him out for two stretches last year. He also suffered a nasty hip injury in 2016, and sides will need to evaluate his past injury struggles when making a move for the forward.
Transfer rumours are nothing new
Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool have all been linked with Lacazette over recent days, and it’s also being reported that he came very close to signing for Atletico Madrid before the club received a transfer ban. However, the rumours will come as no surprise to Lyon fans, as reports about a move away from the club have been circulating ever since he came on the scene in 2010. Arsenal have been linked with the Frenchman’s services ever since 2014, Newcastle reportedly came close to signing him in 2016, and the forward is also believed to have turned down a move to West Ham last season in favour of staying at Lyon. Transfer rumours about the player’s future are nothing new, and whether Lacazette does indeed end up leaving Lyon for good in the summer, he won’t be swayed by the speculation surrounding him.