With only 9 days to go before the start of another Premier League season, fantasy managers are furiously picking apart their FPL draft lineups, looking for any advantage to kickstart their season. While the temptation is always there to stick to the proven Premier League commodities and stay away from new arrivals until they have proven themselves and their role, massive gains can be had if a manager backs the right new player from the start.
With that in mind, new Feudalist Nekzad Bajan (follow him on twitter @nekzaDd) looks at one of the most keenly anticipated new boys on the block, Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal. Do you agree with his opinion? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter/Facebook [Editor: FPLMarple]
On 5 July 2017, Arsenal confirmed their second signing of the summer with the capture of Alexandre Lacazette from Olympique Lyonnais. Having acquired wing-back Sead Kolasinac from Schalke, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has added the powerful Frenchman to his attack for a club record fee of £46.5 million.
The Frenchman was a part of Lyon’s youth system and made his debut for the senior side in May 2010. He played as a winger for the next three seasons and flitted in and out of the first XI constantly. However, Lacazette was shifted into a centre-forward role in summer of 2013 as Lyon were forced to sell their main striker, Lisandro Lopez. From then on he played as either a part of the front two or as a lone striker racking up an eye-catching 91 goals and 16 assists in his 133 league appearances over his last four seasons. He fired a career high of 28 strikes last season. At international level, the 26-year old has represented France at every youth level from U16 to U21. He has turned out on 11 occasions for the senior side scoring just one international goal.
FPL POTENTIAL – What it is all about!
Wenger seemed to be quite undecided over the lone striker for the Gunners last season. Wenger began with Alexis Sanchez up top but alternated Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck in the latter stages of the season. Lacazette looks likely to be the man Arsenal are looking for. Standing five foot nine, the new boy’s pace, work-rate and ability to run the channels will definitely allow the Gunners to press from the front more efficiently.
Giroud and Welbeck started eleven and eight league games for the Gunners respectively and with the Frenchman’s style of play along with his hefty price tag, he is set to command a regular role. His potential from the spot for the Gunners would attract quite a lot of Fantasy Premier League managers with the Frenchman scoring 11 penalties in all competitions last season.
However, it certainly remains to be seen how quickly Lacazette adapts to the Premier League and his new teammates. Lacazette is priced at £10.5m in Fantasy Premier League and could highly benefit managers around the likes of excellent playmakers in Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez priced at £12.0m is an excellent option but an expensive asset to get into your squad alongside the premium strikers like Kane, Lukaku, Morata and Jesus, and Fantasy managers might therefore pick the Frenchman possessing similar potential at a lower pricepoint.
Lacazette’s ability to press from the front would certainly allow Sanchez and Ozil much more freedom in the central support roles if Wenger keeps the 3-4-2-1 formation. Aaron Ramsey could be another name in the mix having scored in each of his final two appearances. With an affordable price of £7.0m in FPL, the Welsh can prove to be a good and reliable midfield option too for Fantasy managers.
The Frenchman’s hopes of hitting the ground running for his new team has been boosted by a kind opening schedule. The Gunners face home clashes with Leicester City, Bournemouth, West Brom and Brighton along with a trip to Stoke City in the first seven Gameweeks.
That tempting early run could undoubtedly provide the catalyst for goals and points. It could also tempt quite a few Fantasy managers to overlook Harry Kane and Jesus as the attacking firepowers. Lacazette could prove to be the beast that Arsenal have longed for, making Wenger eye up a bid for the title.