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Suarez-like Lacazette backed for Barcelona move

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Former Lyon boss Claude Puel reckons Alexandre Lacazette would be great for Barcelona as he shares similarities with Luis Suarez.

Spanish media have mooted Lacazette for a surprise summer move to Barcelona. This comes considering an impressive campaign for Arsenal, which ended with him being named the club’s player of the season.

The 28-year-old striker clocked up 19 goals and 13 assists in 49 outings for Arsenal. Therefore, it’s been suggested he could be a good alternative to an ageing Suarez who is now 32.

And Puel, who coached Lacazette during his early days in the Lyon senior team, has backed the move.

“Lacazette can be a player like Luis Suarez,” the ex-Leicester City boss told El Pais.

“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 [Pep] 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.”

A young Lacazette made just 12 appearances under Puel before Lyon fired the coach in 2011.

Despite their limited time together, though, Puel noticed the striker’s tendency to not be much of a team player.

He added on Lacazette: “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.

“Lacazette 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.”

Lacazette scored 129 goals and provided 43 assists in 275 appearances for Lyon before leaving for Arsenal in 2017.

ROME, ITALY – MARCH 16: Alexandre Lacazette of Olympique Lyonnais in action during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 second leg match between AS Roma and Olympique Lyonnais at Stadio Olimpico on March 16, 2017 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images )