Chelsea the unexpected road block in Arsenal’s striker pursuit
After slumping to an opening-day defeat against Liverpool – the sixth time they’ve failed to win in the last seven curtain raisers – Arsenal fans were furious.
A lack of signings and a sluggish start have been familiar problems for the Gunners in recent seasons and things boiled to a head after the north Londoners conceded four in a thrilling battle against Jurgen Klopp’s side at the Emirates.
With Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud all still missing after their Euro 2016 participation, Arsene Wenger fielded something of a scratch side against the Reds.
Inexperienced duo Calum Chambers and Rob Holding marshalled the defence, while Alexis Sanchez led the line.
Understandably, that team selection left Arsenal fans hollering for a new centre-back and a fresh forward before the transfer window shuts.
While a deal for German international Shkodran Mustafi continues to stall over transfer fees, another stumbling block has emerged over the pursuit of Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette.
In a cruel joke at Arsenal’s expense, the Frenchman netted a hat-trick on the same day as their Liverpool loss. But it appears Chelsea are the team that hold the key to unlocking any deal.
According to the Daily Mail, Lyon are waiting to hear on the availability of bit-part Blues striker Loic Remy before giving Arsenal the go ahead on Lacazette.
Remy is a loan target for Les Gones as they look for a stop-gap option to replace their current number 10’s goals.
Since signing for the Stamford Bridge outfit two years ago, the former Newcastle and QPR man has yet to reach 1000 minutes of action in the Premier League.
He is therefore likely to jump at the chance for regular opportunities again, especially with the club where he started his professional career.
The 29-year-old will have big shoes to fill if he makes the switch, with Lacazette notching 63 Ligue 1 strikes over the last three seasons.
With or without the Frenchman, we make Arsenal 13/10 to bounce back with a win over Leicester next time out.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.