Liverpool have been given a boost in their apparent pursuit of Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette, according to an article in the Liverpool Echo. Reports suggest that the Frenchman is yet to agree a new deal with the French outfit and, in spite of the fact that his current deal doesn’t expire for another three years, speculation has emerged that the 24-year-old wants out.
Now, it is no secret that Liverpool are seeking attacking reinforcements this summer, and Lacezette certainly fills the bill. The France international, who scored 27 goals in 33 appearances last term, would be some coup for the Anfield outfit, although Brendan Rodgers would face stiff competition from the likes of Bayern Munich and Paris Saint Germain, with the Express among those to credit the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 giants with interest.
HITC Sport have analysed the statistics from the Frenchman's impressive 2014/15 season to see just how much of an impact his arrival would have. And, perhaps as expected, his efforts from his most recent campaign suggest he has the quality to dislodge Daniel Sturridge from the Reds' starting line-up.
Sturridge experienced an injury-blighted campaign as Liverpool struggled for form last season. Therefore, in search of a more presentable comparison, this article analyses the figures from his displays the season before, during which he scored 21 goals in 29 appearances as, alongside Luis Suarez, he came desperately close to firing the club to its first ever Premier League title.
Interestingly, of the seven key areas analysed, Lacazette led Sturridge in six - with the seventh proving a stalemate.
Lacazette quite comfortably outperformed the Liverpool man in terms of his goal output. Having averaged 0.82 goals per game to Sturridge's 0.72, he is clearly superior in this aspect. Meanwhile, the Lyon striker proved accurate from 67% of his shots at goal, with his prospective team-mate managing a hit-rate of just 49%.
The Frenchman was also superior creatively. Not only did he fashion more chances per game (1.64 to 1), he also played more key passes (1.45 to 0.76). The Lyon player was also more successful in take-ons, completing 57.89% of his attempts to dribble past an opponent, compared to Sturridge's 42.05%.
Lacazette completed an average of 21.42 successful passes per game in the French Ligue 1 last season, compared to 20.24 managed by Sturridge in the Premier League - a minor difference, perhaps. However, it is even harder to split the duo in terms of their overall pass completion, with both averaging a success rate of 79%.
While far surpassing the goal scoring efforts of Sturridge in Liverpool's unbelievable 2013/14 season, it is easy to forget that, in the season just gone, Lacazette fell just four goals short of Luis Suarez's efforts in the same campaign - a truly impressive feat.
With the club still living with the hangover from the Uruguayan's departure, Lacazette could be the perfect tonic ahead of the upcoming league season. Not only would the Frenchman be a quality addition for Brendan Rodgers' side, he would also represent an upgrade to Sturridge - and a potential successor to Suarez.