Battle of the 9’s

Manchester United and Arsenal have had some brilliant forwards over the years as they tussled for Premier League glory. Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright spring to mind for Arsenal. On United’s side there is, Eric Cantona, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney. There are many more for both sides including Robin Van Persie who represented both.

Now it seems the two legendary English clubs both have new marksmen up top. Arsenal have splashed out around £45 million on Frenchman Alexandre Lacazette where as United opted for Everton’s main man Romelu Lukaku in a transfer worth £75 million. But who will perform better? Who will take the headlines? It will surely be a massive question for people picking their fantasy football teams in next few days.

The most notable advantage on either man’s side is that Lukaku has a wealth of Premier League experience already. He arrived at Chelsea in 2011 as an 18 year old was said to have huge potential. He spent three years at Stamford Bridge, he only made ten appearances, before securing a loan move to West Brom. It was a period that sky rocketed Lukaku’s reputation. 17 goals that season, including a hat-trick on Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game in charge of United, led him to be in demand at the end of that season. Another loan move to Everton was successful and the move was made permanent the following season, the man selling him? Jose Mourinho. His time at Everton has seen him develop into one of the top strikers in Europe. He has notched 68 goals in the four seasons he has spent with ‘the Toffees’.

Lacazette has had a slightly different footballing upbringing. From 2003 he has been a Lyon player and from an early age he has had a reputation as a potential superstar. He has worked his way through the ranks at the French club and leaves after making 203 senior appearances and scoring 100 goals for them. His call to a more reputable domestic league has been coming for sometime. With the emergence of Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco, Lyon have been slipping out of contention in France and Europe. Lacazette has been the stand out player at the club for a while and feels as if he has outgrown the club.

Both players have represented their national teams at the highest level. Lacazette at the age of 26 only has 11 caps for France scoring once. 24 year old Lukaku has represented Belgium a staggering 57 times scoring 20 times for his national side. Lacazette may have the advantage when it comes to European club competition experience. He has played for Lyon in both the Champions League and Europa League representing Lyon 40 times in the competitions combined. Lukaku on the other hand Lukaku played 9 times in Everton’s doomed Europa League campaign in 2014/15. With both sides playing in Europe this season it will be Lacazette’s who carries more experience into those games.

Depending on who Arsenal are able to keep around Lacazette will be a huge factor in his success. If he has a supporting cast that consists of players like Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil it could be dangerous for defenders who come up against ‘the Gunners’. If not too much pressure could be put on the new arrival. However, with Lyon he has had high expectations for a number of years now. He has been their talisman and has delivered to a certain extent, without him they would be in a far worse position. He will bring pace and finesse to the Arsenal attack that they have been lacking for a large period of time. He has to be considered a great signing for under pressure boss Arsene Wenger who will have difficult questions to face if he cannot get Arsenal to challenge for the domestic title this year. Lacazette will score goals, that is for certain. Can Arsenal support him and get the best out of him? They are more than likely to do that. If they do Arsenal could have their best season in years.

Lukaku comes into a United team that is in transition. After Ferguson left nobody has been given a sustained period of time to implement their ideas and that showed last year. Mourinho is entering his second year and seems to have the backing of everyone around the club. It feels as though ‘the Red Devils’ are starting to turn it around. They have certainly added goals to the team, something they needed with Zlatan Ibrahimovic being released. The players around him are creative, Juan Mata and Henrick Mhkitaryan both make chances and the pace of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford will both create space and chances for the new arrival. His strength and ability in the air added to his eye for goal make him the perfect heir to Zlatan’s number 9 shirt.

Both clubs have made their intentions clear with their new goal getters. Lacazette and Lukaku will both be looking to claim the golden boot and their sides will be hoping to lift the Premier League trophy again. Only one of each can do that. It will be interesting to see how the season plays out.

Who will score more goals for their new side this season – Romelu Lukaku or Alexandre Lacazette? The people of Twitter had their say and here are the reulst;

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Alan Brown

Follow me on twitter - @AlanBrown1017 For more info contact me -

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