Alexander Lacazette vs Olivier Giroud

Arsenal are close to signing a French striker. He may not be the compatriot that Arsene Wenger was really keen on acquiring this summer but the capture of Alexandre Lacazette will be seen as a welcome addition to his squad especially with the future of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil still up in the air.

Kylian Mbappe was Arsene Wenger’s choice but the astronomical fee being quoted for the young Frenchman made him a luxury that Arsenal couldn’t afford. The Gunners will also be thankful to UEFA for upholding Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban as a deal was already in place for Lacazette to join the Spanish club but the transfer ban ensured that the deal never materialised.

It is ironic that Lacazette will be coming in to displace Olivier Giroud, a striker who is in ahead of him in the pecking order in the France national team. I will be comparing both players in different areas today and all my stats will be based on league football only.

Lazazette compared with other top strikers in Europe

The main job of a striker is to score goals and on that basis, Lacazette seems to be the better man here as in the past four seasons he has scored a total of 91 league goals in 133 games, while Giroud managed to score 58 goals in 130 games in the same period. As these stats show, Lacazette has averaged 0.68 goals per game over the last four seasons, way better than Giroud’s 0.44 per game for Arsenal. It can be argued that the 26-year-old has achieved that in Ligue 1, which is far less competitive than the Premier League but when you compare Lacazette’s ratio to Giroud’s when he was in Ligue 1 with Montpellier, he still has a better rate of success in front of goal.

One of Giroud’s benefit to the Arsenal team is his hold-up play and assist rate, so it is unsurprising that he pips Lacazette here, although not by much, as his total haul of 20 assists in the past four seasons is only better than his compatriot’s by five. Giroud is also the bigger of the two players and uses his size to good effect in bringing his team-mates into play and creating scoring chances for them with his deft touches which can be deceptive for a big man. However when it comes to pass success for both players, Lacazette is the better passer with 77.9% pass completion rate to Giroud’s 69% over the past four seasons.

Minutes per goal
If measuring their abilities in terms of goals per game can be said to be biased due to the fact that it doesn’t take into consideration the duration of time they had on the pitch to deliver, this barometer should clearly show us how effective each player is in front of goal with the time he is given. Lacazette still comes out tops here as he scores a goal every 122 minutes compared to Giroud’s return of a goal every 148 minutes.

Shot conversion rate
One of the hallmarks of a great finisher is his conversion rate, which means how effective he is in putting away the chances that he gets. In this scenario, Lacazette is the better marksman as his shot conversion rate is 10% better than Olivier Giroud’s. He scores with 28% of his shots, while Giroud converts only 18% of his shots.

The ability to take on a defender is a very useful trait a striker should possess as it will help in scoring and creating chances for himself and his team-mates on the pitch. Giroud only attempts 0.1 dribbles per game, while Lacazette takes on his opponents 1.6 times a match and the younger man also possesses electric pace which helps him beat his man often.

In summary, it seems that the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette will be great addition to the Arsenal team and it will even be better if Arsene Wenger can also keep Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil as it will give the gunners a lot of quality in depth and make them serious contenders for the EPL title next season.

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