Chronicle – Alexandre Lacazette back at OL: such a great story, such a frustrating career

If you don’t like clichés, move on. This Thursday, it’s a beautiful story being told, it’s a bit of romanticism reappearing in a football sold to the business, it’s the child prodigy who returns home when nothing predestined him for a such fate. This Thursday, the Gone pure-jus Alexandre Lacazette finds its cocoon, the one that saw him born in the eyes of the world. This Thursday, it is the emotion that prevails.
At 31, when OL will not play in any European Cup next season, when yet another revolution begins with uncertain outlines, when he has divided his salary by two, the center forward has made the choice of the heart. In a market where his status as a free agent could have opened many other doors for him in the heart of the summer, he ended up succumbing to repeated foot calls from a Lyon board eager to reconnect with somewhat forgotten roots. these last years.

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Lacazette at OL is a story of the heart and a real sporting achievement. In the prime of life, the Lyonnais remains a special trigger in L1, as evidenced by his last three Lyon seasons, completed with more than 30 pawns on the counter in all competitions. If his move to Arsenal did not take the expected turn, he never seemed to lose his football in London and intends to prove it in Lyon.

PSG, Barcelona, ​​Atlético de Madrid: the failed trains

But if the deal is good, it is especially for OL. Because General Lacazette has not especially become more senior away from his Groupama Stadium. His return to Lyon, and a fortiori in Ligue 1, finally records the failure of his transfer with great fanfare to Arsenal despite five years of loyal service, failing to have always been very good.

In London, he will have shown certain qualities that we know him to have: involvement, professionalism, moving game and leadership, in particular in a last season which will have seen him accompany the Baby-Gunners in their development. But it’s too little for a scorer of his caliber. With 71 goals on the clock in five seasons, he never embodied the goleador that the Gunners would have needed.

The story of Lacazette is that of a player who arrives at the wrong place at the wrong time. In an Arsenal which is about to turn the page Wenger and which has been going around in circles for several seasons. The best proof of this trial and error is the recruitment six months after that of Lacazette of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. General Lacazette is automatically demoted in the hierarchy and will ultimately never regain the rank.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)

Credit: Getty Images

From this passage through London, which lasted five years, there finally emanated more questions than answers concerning him. But the main one remains the same: what if his choice had been different? Between 2015 and 2017, the tracks are not lacking for Lacazette. Unai Emery’s PSG frankly insists on making him the understudy of Edinson Cavani, he refuses. Barça is looking into his case too, to blow Luis Suarez, without ever actually going on the attack.

And then, Atlético de Madrid, that of Griezmann, thinks of finding the ideal striker in the summer of 2017. Lack of luck, the CAS prohibits the Colchoneros from recruiting that summer and it is therefore almost by default that it branches off to Arsenal. Lacazette’s career is the story of this train that you have to know how to take at the right time, otherwise it will definitely leave…

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The Blues definitely gone?

From this choice undoubtedly flows all the rest. Not indisputable at Arsenal, it is not even discussed in Blues anymore. Because the pool is too big, because his references are too limited and because with the French team of Didier Deschamps, he has never found his place. “It didn’t match“, he summarized last November. His last selection dates back to November 2017, with this double against Germany, the culmination of his career in Blue. Since then, we have never seen him again. Worse, he has not never been regretted.

The story is teasing: in 2022, it is Wissam Ben Yedder who occupies the blue tip in the absence of Karim Benzema. In 2016, however, it was the Lyonnais who looked like the evidence of the years to come. But the destinies are capricious and the careers never traced in advance. That of Alexandre Lacazette is perhaps one of the most telling symbols.

One of the most complete, and therefore most modern, French center forwards of his generation will not have experienced the heights hoped for. So he returns home to find his cocoon and flourish again, where it all began. To succeed in a perilous but ambitious mission: to put OL in their place, potentially with the help of certain past acolytes. The story is beautiful, of course. But it still remains frustrating. For him as for us.

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