Alexandre Lacazette signing 'a big statement of intent', says Charlie Nicholas

Arsenal unveil new signing Alexandre Lacazette at London Colney
Image: Alexandre Lacazette has signed for Arsenal from Lyon

Charlie Nicholas believes Arsenal have made "a big statement of intent" with the signing of Alexandre Lacazette.

The Premier League side confirmed that former Lyon striker Lacazette had signed on a "long-term contract for an undisclosed fee" on Wednesday evening.

Nicholas is confident that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has made the ideal acquisition ahead of the start of the new Premier League, with Arsenal starting their campaign against Leicester City on August 12.

Alexandre Lacazette signs his contract with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger at London Colney
Image: Charlie Nicholas believes Lacazette's signing is a statement of intent

"He is at a prime age now to look to hit the ground running at Arsenal," Nicholas told Sky Sports News HQ. "They should have tried to get him three years ago.

"Arsenal needed a guy who's intelligent, his movement is good, he's got good speed and he doesn't always have to go and be an old-fashioned number nine.

"He will want to try and improve on his own reputation. I really do think he is a perfect fit."

Alexandre Lacazette celebrates after scoring a goal during a Ligue 1 match against Marseille
Image: Lacazette helped Lyon to the Europa League semi-finals last season

Nicholas also believes that Arsene Wenger has received some undue criticism for his lack of signings in the transfer market over recent years.

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The former Arsenal player who made 151 appearances for the London club referenced the big-name signings of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanches in Wenger's defence but questioned which positions the French manager has previously targeted.

"Arsene [Wenger] gets a lot of stick for a number of things - some are deserved and some in my opinion are undeserved," Nicholas added.

"He has spent the money but it's not always been in the areas that has made it [the team] significantly better."

The statement is to say to [Alexis] Sanchez and others we are serious to get back challenging for the title and we are serious about getting back into the Champions League again. It is a big statement of intent from Arsenal
Nicholas on impact of Lacazette's arrival

Nicholas also believes that Arsenal have made a bold statement in the transfer market and will have pleased the club's fan base along with current players.

"I do genuinely think they are signing a guy who if he comes in with a pedigree like Ian Wright or even the way young [Nicholas] Anelka did when he was at Arsenal - he reminds me a little of that situation," added Nicholas.

"I am very hopeful that [Mesut] Ozil will sign. The midfield creative side will be fine- he will enjoy that and he should score some guaranteed goals for Arsenal.

"The statement is to say to [Alexis] Sanchez and others we are serious to get back challenging for the title and we are serious about getting back into the Champions League again. It is a big statement of intent from Arsenal."

Alexis Sanchez celebrates his goal against Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium
Image: The future of Alexis Sanchez remains uncertain

Meanwhile Nicholas is cautious about the impact of Lacazette's signing in influencing the future of Alexis Sanchez, who has not signed a new contract with the Gunners with his current deal running out next summer.

"I genuinely don't think so," said Nicholas. "I think Sanchez is completely and utterly his own man. We have seen that with his actions last season.

"He is a winner, a warrior, a fighter, a player we all truly admire and we'd love to keep him but if his heart is on trying to get the same wages as people like Messi and Ronaldo, it's not going to materialise.

Arsene Wenger during a training session at London Colney
Image: Nicholas believes Arsene Wenger will struggle to keep Sanchez at the club

"If they have to sell him and it would be harsh, painful with only one year remaining but they may have to consider this.

"Sanchez is in control of the whole situation because the club have been so slow in reacting and sorting this out.

"I have genuinely got bad vibes about Sanchez. It just feels as if he is teasing and tormenting other people to make an offer that Arsenal might have to consider. I hope I am wrong in that.

"I am certainly hopeful that if Lacazette's signing is an influence it should surely be a positive one."

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