Arsenal famously but unsuccessfully attempted to sign Lyon Striker Alexandre Lacazette last summer, having already failed to sign Jamie Vardy from Leicester City before turning their attention towards the French striker. They reportedly made an initial bid for €35m, which was rejected by Lyon – the French club going to the lengths of publicly announcing that they have rejected a bid the bid.
Days later, Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas, who has a reputation for being a tough negotiator, publicly claimed that he didn’t expect Arsenal to come back with an improved offer – that was that for the club’s interest in Lacazette, and we eventually signed Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruna.
A year later, the Spanish striker is set to leave the club after hardly featuring for them in his debut season. Meanwhile, odds have shortened at bigfreebet.com on Lacazette making a move to the Emirates Stadium. Owing to the transfer ban on Atletico Madrid, we are currently leading the race to sign him, and a transfer fee upwards of £50m is being touted – if Aulas’ recent comments are to be believed, we have already launched a ‘nice offer’ for his striker.
“Alexandre Lacazette was told he could leave,” Aulas said. “We had negotiations with Atletico. Things did not work out. We now have a very nice offer from Arsenal. But for us, he will not leave.”
These comments leave no doubt that we are indeed interested in the striker but Aulas appears to be in no mood to let go of his striker for cheap. In the current transfer market, it would be unwise for us to think that we could get their man for less than £50m.
Now the current situation begs the question – couldn’t we have bought Lacazette last summer, quite possibly for a fee much cheaper than we might end up paying this summer?
As an Arsenal fan, in the recent years, I have often found my club too lethargic and passive in the transfer market. And I get the same feeling while looking at the reports claiming that we are interested in Lacazette.
It’s not that I don’t like the striker, but my reservation is with us not being able to sign him last summer. We spent £17m on Lucas Perez, and, keeping in mind our inefficiency to sell our players, I hardly doubt that we will be able to recoup the money this summer. Additional to the transfer fee, the club also spent a year’s worth of wages on a player, who will be best remembered for his cup appearances.
If we had signed Lacazette last summer, we could have had a decent striker on our hands with a one-year worth of valuable Premier League experience. Instead, we are still chasing the same player and might end paying a lot more for him this summer.
Sometimes, I feel that our penny-pinching has actually cost us more than it has saved us in the transfer market, and that definitely seems to be the case with our pursuit of Lacazette.