Alexandre Lacazette, born 28 May 1991 a striker who has played for Olympique Lyon his entire career has in recent days once more been linked with Newcastle United.
We look at the player, his rise to the French National team and his chances of ever pulling on our famous black and white shirt.
Now 24 Alexandre started his junior career with ELCS Lyon before moving to OL as a schoolboy. His early promise saw him make the bench for the first team in the 08/09 season at the tender age of 18 years and 54 days as an unused sub against Le Mans. He would have to wait almost a year for his full debut however, getting 12 mins in a home game against Auxerre in a 2-1 win.
At junior International level Lacazette was already making some, although not huge, waves. In total he would make 58 appearances at all levels of the French junior setup (from U16 to U21) scoring 20 goals.
2010/11 would be his breakthrough season however, sensationally scoring a 87th minute equaliser for OL against Hapoel Tel-Aviv in the Champions League after coming on as a 68th min sub. That season he would go on to make 11 appearances scoring twice, but still very much behind a certain Bafatimbi Gomis in the pecking order.
By 2011/12 he was a first team regular playing 43 times for the senior side scoring 10 times.
He was not however, for a few seasons yet, prolific by any means as his goals per game stats show.
By last season though the lad was on fire leading to speculation of a move in Summer 2015 to first Newcastle United and then Arsenal in a rumoured €30m deal after the player apparently fell out with his club over a €6m a year wage demand prompting his agent to say 'The offers we’ve had from abroad are very significant in terms of finances. Ultimatums and media pressure won’t change our demands to OL’.
Wage demands were cleared up however and with OL moving to their new state of the art stadium this year they may well be reluctant to sell their prized asset. We feel sure he’ll want to continue his professional career in such surroundings with, of course, an ongoing place in the Champions League.
And there is the problem. A player who perhaps could have had his head turned a year ago for the right deal now seems to have his choice of clubs. Now with 8 senior International appearances and one goal to his name and a growing reputation across Europe we feel sure that Alexandre and his ‘people’ will want nothing short of a stella club next, Champions League and all.
Our verdict: After a slow start to his career Lacazette is fast becoming one of the hottest properties in European football. Why he would even consider moving to a relegation threatened club with new European football would be beyond us. Bid or no bid, this one would seem an absolute non starter.