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An exit looms for Lacazette after Arsenal identify Jonathan David as top target for summer

Arsenal Jonathan David, Six Sports

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette could be shown the door in the summer after his contract expires. The Gunners have reportedly identified Jonathan David as their top priority which could mean Lacazette’s departure. Arsenal are in desperate need of a striker after all of their current options have failed to deliver. Moreover, Aubameyang’s January exit meant Arsenal would sign his replacement, but the club didn’t. Mikel Arteta instead chose to rely on the available options of Lacazette and Nketiah. Arsenal now wants a top-quality striker, and consider LOSC Lille’s Jonathan David as the answer to their number 9 woes.

Pressure piled up on the Gunners after they failed to land a striker in the winter transfer market. Arsenal were linked with Fiorentina sensation Dusan Vlahovic and Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak, but neither arrived. Lacazette and Nketiah’s failure to step-up post-Aubameyang’s exit instead put extra pressure on Arsenal to sign a striker in the summer. Mikel Arteta now wants the Canadian Jonathan David, and Lacazette could be well out on his way as a result of the plan.

Arsenal intensify their interest in Jonathan David

According to French news outlet Le10 Sport, Arsenal wants Jonathan David to lead their attack from next season. The 22-year-old has caught Arteta’s eyes, and the manager has asked the club to go all out and sign him. While Jonathan David may arrive, Alexandre Lacazette would then have to pack his bags. Arsenal may have to sell their captain given Lacazette’s similar playing style as of Jonathan David. Moreover, David’s stats speak volumes for him to start ahead of Lacazette if Arsenal buys him. The Canadian has so far scored an impressive 17 goals across all competitions, with 13 of those coming in the Ligue 1. His tally of 17 goals betters the total of Lacazette (5) and Nketiah’s (6) combined of 11.

However, his lack of aerial threat goes hand-in-hand with Lacazette’s. Having two strikers with a lack of aerial threat could dent Arteta‘s plans of having variety in his attacking options. Lacazette’s contract expires in the summer, and if Arsenal signs Jonathan David, they would be more than happy to let the Frenchman go. His former club, Lyon are ready to take Lacazette back and could come for him in the summer. David’s market value is £45 million at the moment and could inflate by the summer given his form. However, it is not expected to cross the £50million mark, a figure well within Arsenal’s reach.

Champions League qualification could help the deal

Eddie Nketiah looks set to leave too, with StandardSport reporting that Crystal Palace are actively pursuing him. Nketiah’s contract is also up in the summer, and the youngster knows Arteta is not counting him for the future. Despite the poor run of their strikers, Arsenal are in a firm position to clinch a Champions League spot sitting fourth in the table. In such a situation, Arsenal needs a striker who would efficiently lead their potential Champions League campaign next season. Jonathan David who has 3 goals in 7 UCL appearances should seriously help the Gunners if they qualify for Europe next season.

Moreover, David offers a better conversion rate than Lacazette in front of the goal. With an average xG of 7 over 20 league appearances, Lacazette has only netted 3 times, while Jonathan David has scored 13 with an xG of 12 in 27 games. At the moment, David is outshining Lacazette in every department, except the assists. The Lille forward has no assists to show this season to Lacazette’s 8. But what the Canadian offers is the consistency to put the ball in the back of the net. Last season too, Jonathan David scored 13 goals in all competitions and helped Lille win the Ligue 1 title. He has already matched his tally from the last season and aims to keep on improving.

As Arsenal is staring at a Champions League return, Lille sits outside of European spots. Jonathan David would surely want to continue to play in the Champions League, which Arsenal could provide him. Moreover, the development of young players under Mikel Arteta should play a crucial role too. Arteta has exceptionally managed a squad brimming with young talent in Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Martinelli, and many more. Jonathan David is surely worth a gamble at Arsenal, should the Gunners sign him in the summer.

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