OL’s failure to qualify for the European Championship should have buried the matter for Lacazette’s return. Still…
It was a requirement, but it was automatic: if OL was in the European Cup, they would return to “his” club, “his” city. He is Alexandre Lacazette. But here we are, the sad season and this 8th place, the worst ranking of the 21st century, with the key to this absence of European travel in 2022-23 has actually narrowed the field of this possibility. It remains to place the cursor of this “narrowing”, because according to information from RMC Sport, the Guadeloupe is getting closer to its training club, even an orphaned midweek occupied by competitions in the continental elite.
For the time being, we at OL are sticking to this wish, linked to a “European” condition. And so this dream came to an untimely end. Understand: given the sporting verdict of the season, Lacazette will not return to where, before his last visit, in May 2017, he scored his 99th and 100th goals with OL (in 275 games) against Nice.
The invisible work of the leaders of Lyon
But because there is a but, the Lyon leaders seem so attached to his arrival that they continue tirelessly behind the scenes, work began at the end of 2021. First an “invisible” work, then unveiled and repeated in the various press conferences throughout 2022, be it the arrivals of the January transfer window or more recently when it comes to the launch of the operation, preparing for the 22-23 season in the days that accompanied the formalization of the annus horribilis on May 16.
And all this does not leave indifferent the former licensed OL scorer who, at heart, sees himself wearing the OL jersey again when the team resumes next July. It is rumored that the contours of his contract are already being accepted by all parties and the advances of other European clubs have no longer made him doubt his desire for a return. It is therefore the trend of the moment, especially since Peter Bosz, the coach who will be responsible for the recovery after a huge earthquake in early July, thinks the profile of the future ex-shooter is good.
Alexandre Lacazette could also focus on marking his Lyon history even more in this case, as he became the first goalscorer at the Groupama stadium one night in January 2016 against Troyes to climb onto the Lyon goalscorer’s podium: currently 4th with 129 goals in 275 games, he has Serge Chiesa (3rd with 134 goals) and Bernard Lacombe (2nd with 149 goals) in his sights, while Fleury Di Nallo seems untouchable with his 222 goals!
The elderly affected by the bad luck of the club
In the balance that has tipped him on the “good side” for Lyon supporters in recent hours: his club’s bad 2022 pass. Like his peers with whom he reached the semi-finals of the 2017 Europa League, Alexandre Lacazette at 31 is not recovering from this failed season for OL. The elders also seem to be more “sick” than certain actors of the season: both in public and privately, Maxime Gonalons (who has made a reason not to return after repeated approaches), Corentin Tolisso (who is no longer the Bayern Munich jersey) and even Clément Grenier (who has long hoped to return to the professional dressing room during his time in the reserve while waiting to be signed free in Mallorca) are showing their discomfort.
Without any contract on June 30, Alexandre Lacazette therefore listens to many proposals, coming from Spain, England or elsewhere. And that of Lyon, in the middle, always appeals to him at the highest point, especially because the very precise plan motivates him: not only would the resident of the Mermoz district, in the 8th arrondissement of Lyon, bring his talent, known skated in Premier League matches since 2017, but he would also come to “guide” the emerging youth, the pillar of the heralded “reconquest”. In a form of “transmission”, he who experienced this as a youngster, in 2010, when he was 19 years old, he gradually joined the professional team.
The signal of the “symbolic” extension of Maxence Caqueret until 2026, of the promotion that was also announced, in the long time of the Gambardella generation (2004) by the management of the hatching (hoped) of Rayan Cherki, thus demonstrates him little because of little that the announced plan, with many media reports in May, will actually be implemented. Being the actor of this revival would therefore not displease Alexandre Lacazette, who therefore tends to return. Only in terms of transfer, as long as nothing is signed.
Even Moussa Dembele has been warned about the arrival of a new striker, even though the OL top scorer in 2022 (this is the trend) wanted to fulfill his contract until the end (June 2023). And if it’s not Alexandre Lacazette, it’ll be another… But the ballot is currently favorable for Alexandre Lacazette’s return, five years after the biggest gain in the club’s history: 53 M + 7 bonus at Arsenal, since the arrival of the Academy, the sale of Tanguy Ndombele to Tottenham in July 2019 (60 million) replaced the transfer record set two years earlier.