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Alexandre Lacazette Says Premier League 'Has Not Yet Seen the Best' of Him

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17:  Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Burnley FC at Emirates Stadium on August 17, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Alexandre Lacazette says he "can score more goals and be more consistent" for Arsenal. The Frenchman has also let the Gunners' domestic rivals know his best is yet to come.

Lacazette scored his club's opener during a 2-1 win over Burnley at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. The goal opened his account for the season, and the 28-year-old told Canal+ (h/t Metro) why he's going to get better: "The Premier League has not yet seen the best Lacazette. It has seen some very good, but not the best."

While it's fair to say Arsenal might have expected more from the striker who cost an initial £46.5 million when he arrived from Lyon in 2017, Lacazette's role has also changed.

Lacazette found the net 17 times during his debut campaign in 2017/18 and improved his tally when Unai Emery succeeded Arsene Wenger in the dugout last summer. Arsenal's No. 9 bagged 19 goals across all competitions, with 13 of those coming in England's top flight.

It's not a gaudy total for Emery's first-choice centre-forward, but Lacazette's exploits are being somewhat overshadowed by those of his strike partner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The latter shared the Golden Boot with Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah after scoring 22 times in the league last season.

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

Friendship goals: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette 🔥 https://t.co/TufloxztZV

Aubameyang has already netted twice in two games to start the new campaign. Arsenal also added Nicolas Pepe from Lille this summer. Pepe is a goalscoring winger who was on the scoresheet 22 times last season and possesses the pace and quality as a finisher to be a big hit in the Premier League.

The 24-year-old is still waiting for his first start with the Gunners, but his arrival likely means fewer goals for Lacazette. However, the latter still has value as a link player at the heart of a potentially dynamic front three.

Lacazette possesses different qualities than Aubameyang—namely, strength, the ability to hold the ball up and win it in the air, and the skill to play with his back to goal. Those attributes make Lacazette almost as useful creating goals as he is at scoring them.

Squawka Football @Squawka

Alexandre Lacazette's last 13 competitive games at the Emirates: 🅰️ vs Burnley ⚽️ vs Fulham ⚽️ vs Chelsea 🅰️ vs Man Utd ⚽️ vs Cardiff ⚽️ vs Southampton ⚽️ vs Bournemouth 🅰️ vs Man Utd ⚽️ vs Newcastle 🅰️ vs Crystal Palace ✖️ vs Brighton ⚽️⚽️ vs Valencia ⚽️ vs Burnley 🏡 https://t.co/vVXThwyEBf

Having Lacazette drop off the front to release Aubameyang and Pepe in behind is likely to become Arsenal's most common route to goal this season, similar to the way Roberto Firmino operates in support of Salah and Mane.

It means the best Lacazette may not be the one who scores more goals, but the less-prolific forward who instead exerts greater influence creatively.