Alexandre Lacazette arrived to Arsenal from Olympique Lyon in the summer of 2017 as a big-name signing, for a reported fee of around £50 million. The move was widely perceived as a real coup for the Gunners, given that plenty of reports had been linking the striker with some of the biggest clubs around Europe at the time.
However, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came from Borussia Dortmund the following winter, and even though the two of them are obviously two different types of attacking player, it can be fairly said that the Gabonese has outshone Lacazette in an Arsenal shirt so far. Aubameyang now wears the captain’s armband and is one of the few players that can boast of being nailed-on starters week in week out; which is a lot more than Lacazette can say about himself at the moment. Aubameyang has scored 71 goals in 110 competitive games for the club so far; Lacazette has 48 in 127.
In all fairness to the Frenchman, he does drop deeper and offers himself in link-up play far more often than Aubameyang, and he has the advantage in terms of assists – 25, while Aubameyang stands currently at 15.
Lyon sporting director Juninho recently gave an interview to RMC Sport and spoke a bit about Lacazette. He revealed he’d had a little chat with his club’s former player back in January, and had learned that Lacazette was ‘having problems’ at Arsenal. Then an idea came to him (Juninho). He started thinking about offering Lacazette a loan spell back at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais. The striker would play every week there, in the league where he has proven he can score goals, and then return to Arsenal or perhaps go somewhere else, with his confidence back on a high level.
However, Juninho was forced to give up on this idea as soon as he started considering Lacazette’s contract, because the reality is that Lyon cannot pay the wages the 29-year-old earns at the Emirates. He mentioned Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, also linked with a return to Lyon, in the same bracket.
The main point of Juninho’s interview seems to have been the reported interest of Manchester City in Houssem Aouar, also linked with Arsenal. The former Brazil international apparently isn’t surprised by these reports, but he isn’t aware of any contact between the clubs being made so far.