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‘Lacazette would do very well at Barcelona’ – Former Lyon boss likens Arsenal striker to Suarez

2:55 am AEST 2/6/19
Alexandre Lacazette Barcelona
The Gunners star has been linked with a move to Barca and Claude Puel, who worked with him in France, believes a move to Camp Nou would make sense

Alexandre Lacazette would do “very well at Barcelona”, says Claude Puel, with the former Lyon boss seeing similarities between the Arsenal striker and Luis Suarez.

A move to Camp Nou has been mooted for the France international.

It has been suggested that the 28-year-old is among those being considered by the Liga champions as they seek to bring another No. 9 onto their books.

Lacazette is a proven performer in that position and would be a useful alternative, or successor to Uruguayan frontman Suarez in Catalunya.

He has just been named Arsenal’s Player of the Season for 2018-19, recording 19 goals and 13 assists, while previously being a prolific presence in his homeland at Lyon.

Puel was the man to give him his senior bow and has told El Pais of a top talent: “Lacazette can be a player like Luis Suarez. 

“He can go into the midfield a little and ask to get the ball in space. For me, he could do very, very well in Barcelona. 

“Suarez's problem is that he has lost some physical condition. He was more powerful and started more. Not now. 

“He knows how to get away, go deep and ask for the ball, because he is a scorer. But you need something more. 

“With Guardiola, Barca played 80 per cent of the game in the opposition half of the field. Now they accept playing a low block. When you are so deep, you need a striker to hold the ball when you get it to allow the team to advance. Suarez loses the ball continuously.”

While suggesting that Lacazette could be the man to improve Barcelona’s forward line, Puel admits that he did not always see him as a team player.

He added on his first experiences of a Lyon native: “I went to see him play with the Lyon reserve team. He never ran, he never asked for the ball, he did not move into space, he did not defend. Nothing, nothing, nothing.

“He did nothing in 90 minutes. But he scored a goal and he was happy. For him, that amounted to a good game. 

“He had a great character. It was difficult to make him understand that he needed to work, run, ask for the ball in space. 

“First, I made him play as a forward because we had many strikers. Then I put him up top so that when he won the ball, he needed time holding it until the others arrived.

“He has everything that a scorer needs. He is small, but that is not a problem for him. He has progressed a lot without the ball. Run, work for the team. He has become a complete player.”