Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud have been pitted into a bizarre scenario at Arsenal this season, says Thierry Henry.
Summer signing Lacazette has arrived at the Emirates as the club’s record signing and new first-choice striker.
However, at international level the £52million arrival has to play second fiddle to Giroud, who is the regular starter for the national team.
Former Arsenal striker Henry has highlighted the scenario and explained what Lacazette offers that Giroud doesn’t.
‘It’s a funny one for Olivier Giroud, because Lacazette is his back-up in the national team but it looks like he will be first choice at Arsenal,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘I don’t know how many times it has happened in history that two players have switched roles like that between national team and club. I’m not saying it is right or wrong but it is an interesting dynamic.
‘Arsene Wenger clearly sees things differently to the national team coach. Maybe he has different plans and different tactics. Lacazette is a different kind of striker to Giroud. He will stretch teams and go in behind the defence. It’s good for Arsenal to have those options, and of course they also have Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott.’
Lacazette v Giroud
Lacazette Name Giroud
30 League appearances in 2016/17 29
28 League starts 11
27 Goals scored 12
3 Assists 3
83 Total shots 39
65% Shot accuracy 59%
78% Pass completion 72%
Henry, who scored a club record 226 goals for the Gunners, believes former Lyon striker Lacazette will be a success at the Emirates.
‘I have been following Lacazette for a long time. He has been a talent since youth level. He has always been a guy that people have talked about. At Lyon he scored goal after goal after goal, so it is not surprising that he was hot property on the transfer market.
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‘We all know about his quality. He’s an excellent finisher. He has a great mind, a great mentality, great commitment and great focus. When you buy players from abroad you don’t know for sure how they will adapt, but I back Lacazette to be successful in the Premier League.’
Arsenal begin their Premier League campaign on Friday when they host Leicester City.