La­cazette, Mo­rata in un­ex­pected show­down

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON: Had the close sea­son panned out as ini­tially ex­pected, Alexan­dre La­cazette and Al­varo Mo­rata would not be lin­ing up for Arse­nal and Chelsea in to­day’s Com­mu­nity Shield at Wem­b­ley. Af­ter 14 years at Lyon, La­cazette de­cided it was time to move on and was re­ported to have agreed to join up with his France team-mate An­toine Griez­mann at Atletico Madrid.

How­ever, Atletico then had a trans­fer ban up­held over the sign­ing of for­eign mi­nors and with the Madrid club barred from reg­is­ter­ing new play­ers un­til Jan­uary 2018, Arse­nal stepped in.

Arse­nal’s fans have been cry­ing out for a toprank striker ever since Robin van Per­sie was sold to Manch­ester United in 2012 and in La­cazette their wish ap­pears to have been granted.

A dead-eyed fin­isher, the 26-year-old was the top-scor­ing French­man in each of the last three Ligue 1 sea­sons and left Lyon hav­ing scored 113 goals in his last four cam­paigns. He cost Arse­nal an ini­tial fee of £46.5 mil­lion ($60.6 mil­lion, 51.6 mil­lion eu­ros), mak­ing him both Arse­nal’s big­gest ever sign­ing and Lyon’s big­gest ever sale. La­cazette will form a po­ten­tially dev­as­tat­ing at­tack­ing tri­dent with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, but man­ager Arsene Wenger has warned that he will need time to find his feet in north Lon­don.

“Some­times it takes a few months, some­times it takes very lit­tle time,” Wenger said. “The only thing I must say with La­cazette is that week af­ter week, he looks to adapt quickly. But over­all I think it will take him one or two months.” Mo­rata’s move to Eng­land was no sur­prise, but the Spain in­ter­na­tional had been ear­marked for a move to Manch­ester United. In­stead, United hi­jacked Chelsea’s at­tempt to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stam­ford Bridge and the cham­pi­ons switched their at­ten­tions to Mo­rata. The 24-year-old cost

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