The statistics that show why Arsenal have to give up on Lacazette
Alexandre Lacazette’s contract with Arsenal expires in 2022, making it stick or twist time for the Gunners with the former Lyon striker.
The Mirror reports that there is interest from Ligue 1 side Monaco in the striker, which gives Mikel Arteta’s side very real food for thought.
Do Arsenal sell in the summer or risk losing the £52 million 2017 signing for nothing in a year? Of course, there is a third option: giving him a new contract.
While Lacazette has expressed his love for the club, the Gunners are in a position whereby they must be ruthless.
Over the last 15 years, they have tumbled from Premier League champions, to title contenders, top-four regulars and now a run-of-the-mill top six club. Indeed, with Arteta’s side ailing in the middle of the Premier League table, they are threatening to lose even that status.
With that in mind, is a 30-year-old striker who has failed to live up to his billing the type of player they need?
Why Arsenal must sell Lacazette
Have Lacazette’s performances been as disappointing as they have seemed to the naked eye? The statistics show that the answer is a resounding yes.
Looking at his figures over his four years with Arsenal, there is a notable decline in his performance.
His first season with Arsenal was the 2017/18 season, in which he posted an expected goals per 90 minutes (xG) total of 0.47 with the club. This means that with the shots he was taking, he could reasonably expect to score 0.47 goals per game. In fact, he returned on average 0.54 goals per game, indicating he was punching above his weight.
Both figures are important. Having a high xG on average means that a striker is regular getting into good scoring positions. Meanwhile, exceeding that figure in terms of goals per game shows their finishing is of above-average standard.
In general, though, most players can expect to score in the region of their xG figure, which makes it such a valuable statistic.
Having settled in the Premier League, Lacazette returned 0.72 xG the following year. Since then, it has declined, bottoming out at a low of 0.38 this season. This indicates that Lacazette is increasingly failing to get into scoring positions.
His contribution for others has followed a similar pattern. His expected assists per 90 (xA) peaked in his second season at 0.39 before declining rapidly to 0.15 this term.
Who could sign Lacazette?
Monaco are the side most recently linked with him.
Although Ligue 1 is in the grip of a financial crisis, Niko Kovac’s men are fighting for a Champions League spot. Clearly, that would increase their income.
Furthermore, they are owned by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev and are therefore more immune to the current problems. This was demonstrated as they signed Krepin Diatta from Club Brugge for around £15 million in January.
It seems unlikely they would pay much more than that for Lacazette, but that may be the type of fee Arsenal have to consider in the post-pandemic world to offload the forward.
Atletico Madrid are another team credited with an interest in Lacazette. This is long standing. Before he moved to Arsenal, he came close to moving to the Spanish capital only to fail a medical.