Olympique Lyonnais may have fallen short in their effort to overhaul Paris Saint-Germain in the French title race, but striker Alexandre Lacazette’s 27 goals in 31 appearances saw the Lyon man claim top scorer honors in Ligue 1 for the season. The 23-year-old is now reported to be on the radar of several top clubs around Europe. With Arsenal, PSG, Liverpool, and Bayern Munich all said to be interested in him, the Lacazette saga could be one to watch this summer.
Twelve months ago, Lacazette was relatively unknown outside of France, failing even to earn a call-up for the French squad for the 2014 World Cup. Having spent his entire career at Lyon, Lacazette has only managed to break into double digits on the season once before. Part of Lacazette’s eye-catching form this season may stem from a positional shift that saw him moved from the wing into a more central striking role.
Lacazette was recently named best player in the French league this season, and former Lyon and Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier told Ligue 1’s official website that Lacazette had the potential to become “world class.”
Now that Lacazette seems to have found his goal-scoring groove, Lyon are in no hurry to let him go. Club president Jean-Michel Aulas has valued Lacazette at over $54 million and was recently quoted as saying that even PSG are “not rich enough” to lure the striker away. Set to make a return to the Champions League next season, and to move into a new 59,000-seat stadium, Lyon are a club on the ups at the moment. It’s therefore understandable that the Ligue 1 outfit are in no hurry to part with their most valuable asset.
Lacazette, who turns 24 this week, renewed his contract with OM within the last 12 months. A product of Lyon’s academy, Lacazette has spent his entire career with the club and may fancy the opportunity for a new challenge with a new team in a new league. Provided a club comes along that will be willing to foot a transfer fee that seems outlandishly high for a striker with only one truly prolific season under his belt.
But with several top Premier League outfits including the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and possibly Manchester United, looking for added firepower in this summer’s transfer market, Aulas and Lyon’s resolve to keep hold of Lacazette will likely be tested in the coming months.
Lacazette’s teammate at Lyon, Nabil Fekir, is also reportedly on the radar of top clubs around Europe, with Arsenal thought to be monitoring the 21-year-old attacker.