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Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has backed Alexandre Lacazette to succeed at the Emirates, arguing that his fellow countryman will bring “great commitment and great focus” to the side.
Lacazette joined the north London club from Lyon last month for a club record £46.5m fee.
Signing a five-year deal at the Emirates, Lacazette is now expected to lead the Gunners’ front-line for the coming season in place of Olivier Giroud and former Arsenal man believes the 26-year-old has all the qualities required to shine at the club.
“I have been following Lacazette for a long time,” Henry told Sky. “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.
“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.”
Following his arrival at the club, Giroud’s future at Arsenal has since been thrown into question – despite his preferential treatment in the national side. Henry has described such a set-up “an interesting dynamic” but believes Arsene Wenger knows what he’s doing.
“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. 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.
“But I like the way Lacazette plays. Now it’s up to him to show us what he can do for Arsenal.”