Arsene Wenger challenges Arsenal new boy Alexandre Lacazette to score a goal a game in the Premier League

Arsene Wenger has challenged Arsenal‘s new record signing Alexandre Lacazette to quickly acclimatise to English football and maintain his record of scoring nearly a goal a game.   

The French striker, who signed in a £52m deal last month, finished with 28 goals from 30 games as Lyon finished fourth in Ligue 1 last season.

“With Lacazette it’s simple. He is an intelligent player and we have a game backed on mobility and technique and I think he can integrate with that well,” Wenger said on Thursday.

“His record in France is to score one in 80 minutes. If he can maintain that record that would be ideal for us – as a game is 90 minutes that would guarantee you a goal.”

While Wenger admitted the standard between the French and English domestic leagues cannot necessarily be compared, he backed his new recruit to replicate Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s debut season in the Premier League following his transfer from PSG to Manchester United.

“You could say that Ibrahimovic transferred an identical amount of goals from France to England. So that’s the target Lacazette should set,” Wenger added.

The 67-year-old manager admitted he has been keeping tabs on the striker for a number of years but was not always convinced he would be able to sign him owing to the “mentality” of players from the south-east of France.

“They don’t like to move away usually,” Wenger added.

“They produce their own players, the players who grew up around Lyon like [Nabil] Fekir, Lacazette, [Maxime] Gonalons. They all stay in Lyon. They usually like to stay there.

“They are players with a special mentality and I did not know whether they wanted to move or not. Does he want to go abroad or not? It is very specific to French players at Lyon. [But] I have known him for a long time.”

Premier League teams recently broke through the £1bn barrier in terms of transfer spending this summer and Wenger, now entering his 22nd season at the helm in north London, admits it will be tough for him to claim a fourth league title.

“Look at what City have done. They have been quite spectacular in the transfer market. Man United as well. And it’s not finished,” Wenger added.

“Chelsea have bought [Alvaro] Morata and have not lost [Diego] Costa yet. And they will certainly buy more. In the middle of the transfer market it’s difficult to predict. At the moment the most active have been United, City and Liverpool.”

With three weeks left until deadline day, Wenger says Arsenal are still “open” for business but hinted they are unlikely to bring too many more names in.

“At the moment I have 33 players and it’s very difficult to manage such a high number on a daily basis.”

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