Football

New Arsenal man Lacazette targets title glory

New Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette cannot wait to link up with the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Oezil to help fire the Gunners back into Premier League title contention next season.

The 26-year-old finally completed his protracted transfer from hometown club Lyon on Wednesday, the official announcement made via a series of video clips on Arsenal's social media channels.

Lacazette has signed on a "long-term contract, for an undisclosed fee", which is understood to be a five-year term that will be a club-record deal to surpass the £42.4million (S$76m) paid to Real Madrid for Oezil in 2013 and could end up as high as £52million.

France forward Lacazette netted 37 goals in all competitions last season and becomes the Gunners' second major summer addition following the arrival of left back Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer from Schalke.

The 26-year-old is determined he can add a cutting edge to a squad which failed to finish in the top four of the Premier League for the first time in 20 years last season, although the Gunners did go on to lift the FA Cup with victory over champions Chelsea at Wembley.

Lacazette said in an interview with Arsenal Player: "I am of course delighted and very proud too because Arsenal is a legendary club.

"Throughout my childhood, thanks to Thierry Henry and other French players, I always dreamed of playing for this club so today that dream has been fulfilled.

"Arsenal is also the club which plays the best football in England, so I really wanted to come here."

Lacazette continued: "When I play, I like to use my pace and to link up with my teammates... I want to give 100 per cent in every match. I want to show I am worthy of the shirt.

"I want to do everything I can to make sure we win titles."

Gunners boss Wenger is in no doubt of what Lacazette can add to the squad, saying that the player is a combination of steel and silk.

He told the club's official website: "We are very happy to have Alexandre join our group.

"He has shown over a number of years that he can score goals and that he is a very efficient finisher.

"As well, he has very interesting technical qualities and a strong character.

"He is a guy who is a great addition for us, and someone who will help us challenge at the top level this season."

Lacazette is expected to be part of the squad which heads to Australia and then China on tour this weekend, with a home debut likely in the Emirates Cup at the end of July.

But the arrival of Lacazette has cast doubt over the future of fellow France international Olivier Giroud, while Arsenal are also looking to tie down key men Sanchez and Oezil, both of whom have just one year left on their current deals. - PA SPORT

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