03 Aug, 12:30
New Premier League season is about to begin and Chelsea, the reigning champions, had a sluggish inception of their summer transfer window when Belgian hitman Romelu Lukaku was snapped up by Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho under the nose of the Blues gaffer Antonio Conte. The London heavyweights, however, did not waste too much time to land an alternative and brought in Spanish forward Alvaro Morata from La Liga giants Real Madrid.
Arsenal, their city rivals, are not far behind and despite missing out on a top four finish for the first time in two decades, the Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is determined to take them back in prestigious Champions League competition and has brought in French marksman Alexandre Lacazette from Ligue1 outfit Olympic Lyon following his persistent high-scoring campaigns for his boyhood side.
However, his overall impact has not been convincing enough and despite his high scoring campaigns, the Frenchman struggled against the heavyweights like Paris St-Germain, Monaco and also for his country (netted only once in 11 outings). French League, with all due respect, is no more considered as one of Europe’s toughest leagues, thus, Premier League will be a completely new challenge for the new Arsenal recruit.
Morata might not be able to replicate Costa’s feat at the very beginning, but he will have an opportunity to be groomed by one of the world’s finest managers and can prove to be another shrewd piece of business on the long run.
It is tough to predict who will have a better debut campaign in world’s most competitive football league. Both might struggle initially, nevertheless, they are competent enough to take up such an exciting challenge and are tipped to flourish in due course. Morata will be explored up front alongside Eden Hazard and Pedro (or Willian). Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso – the wing backs will provide attacking flair and this might create plenty of opportunities for the young Spaniard.
Lacazette, meanwhile, is known for his goal-poaching traits but lacks participation in the build-ups. Wenger, thus, needs to deploy him in a free role in order to make him get accustomed to the Gunners’ style of football. Lacazette will have plenty of opportunities to score if Chilean attacker Alexis Sanchez is retained despite his Champions League aspirations. Else, he will have added responsibilities of creating chances as well as scoring goals.
Lacazette to come out on top, purely because of the quality behind him being better than that of Morata’s. Sanchez is obviously better than Hazard and Ozil is easily the best creator in world football. With Arsenal shifting to a ‘back-3’ formation, the attacking flair provided by Alonso and Moses at Chelsea would be bettered by Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sead Kolasinac – once again, both of them are better than Chelsea’s stars.
It’s Lacazette’s time to break Arsenal’s ‘No. 9 curse’.