Alexandre Lacazette joins Lyon on three-year deal – Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal rebuild rumbles on

By FPL360


Another senior star axed  

French Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyon have confirmed the signing of striker Alexandre Lacazette on a three-year deal. The 31-year-old goalscorer made his return to his former club shortly after his contract at Arsenal came to an end, bookending a five-year spell at the North London club which saw Lacazette bag 71 goals and 36 assists in 206 games. 

Of course, the news was hardly a shock to fans of the Premier League side, who had widely expected their senior forward to depart the club this summer. And it was essentially confirmed a few days ago when Lacazette took to Instagram to thank the club and its fans for his time in the English capital. “Five years ago, my dream came true. To sign for Arsenal. It’s been an honour to wear the jersey, to be a part of this family. I won trophies, I met real and nice people, and I fell even more in love with this club. Good luck for the future of the club and the fans, it’s been a pleasure.”

However, while Lacazette’s departure may seem like a routine move for a striker now approaching the twilight of his career, it actually falls in line with a wider plan at Arsenal which has seen manager Mikel Arteta systematically nudge the club’s older and certainly better-paid stars towards the exit door as the Spaniard tries to realign the club’s resources and squad to his own liking. 

Underperforming stars out, young talents in – Arteta rebuilds Arsenal 

Indeed, when we look at Arsenal’s transfer history since Arteta took on the reins at the club in December 2019, we can see a very clear pattern emerge in each transfer window following. And the Spaniard certainly seems to take no prisoners when it comes to bidding farewell to former favourites at the club. 

Just six months after taking over at Arsenal, Arteta oversaw the departure of Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Roma on a free transfer, despite having signed for the club for a sizable sum of £30.6m just two years before that. However, Arteta was just getting started and in the following winter transfer window he also dumped Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Shkodran Mustafi and Mesut Özil in January. Three underperforming stars that undoubtedly still carried a lot of influence in the Arsenal changing room. 

We then saw Arteta continue to the trick at the start of this season, when Arsenal decided to cut their losses with 33-year-old winger Willian and senior defender David Luiz. And while Héctor Bellerín and Lucas Torreira aren’t exactly old players, both were also moved on in loan deals after making it clear that they weren’t fully committed to Arteta’s new plans for the club. 

As such, while Lacazette may depart Arsenal as something of a modern legend, following his consistent goalscoring record over the past five years, he also leaves as just another senior star who had unfortunately past his best and was being swiftly moved on by a manager who has no time to reminisce about former glory. Arteta has a job to do at the London club and no player is safe in this rebuilding project. 




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