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Arsenal legend believes Lacazette will light up the club like Bergkamp and Henry did

Date Posted,July 7, 2017

Striker Alexandre Lacazette can light up Arsenal – just like Ian Wright, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry.

So says Gunners legend Nigel Winterburn, who is excited by the arrival of the ­Frenchman, signed for a club ­record £46.5million from Lyon.

He believes Lacazette can be the special fox in the box that Arsenal have been looking for.

And he has a message for ­Gunners fans: “You’ll love him, but give Lacazette time to settle in – like Bergkamp and Henry.”

Winterburn, who played 579 times in a 13-year career for Arsenal, said: “Getting Lacazette shows that Arsene Wenger and the club mean business. That’s why I am so excited.

“If Arsene believes he was worth that fee, then the player must have a real ­talent. And, as a frontman, he is the kind of player the fans love, if he is a success.

“He is the type who can light up the stadium.

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“­Lacazette comes to ­Arsenal with a record as a genuine threat after the goals he scored with Lyon.

“I have seen clips of him playing and he certainly knows where the goal is.

“He is mobile and has pace. And there was clearly competition to sign him – and Arsene won that fight.”

It has been well ­documented that Atletico Madrid were urged by their own France star, ­Antoine Griezmann, to sign Lacazette, but Wenger persuaded the 26-year-old to make his future in London.

Winterburn – who won the league three times, the FA Cup, League Cup and the European Cup-Winners’ Cup with Arsenal – added: “That shows determination.

Ian Wright wearing the 1996-1998 Arsenal home kit
Ian Wright wearing the 1996-1998 Arsenal home kit (Image: Shaun Botterill/Allsport)

“Whenever I have seen Lacazette play, he is in the mould of Ian Wright – quick and very dangerous in the penalty area. He has the makings of a great signing.

“It also shows Arsene’s ­determination to make the squad stronger – and I believe there will be more ­signings and at least one more big one.”

Winterburn did have one cautionary note – urging fans to be patient with the new arrival.

“Hopefully, he will hit the ground running and get goals right away,” said the former Gunners full-back.

“That would be ideal. But it may also take time for him to produce his best.

“That was the case with Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry.

Arsenal Legends
Arsenal Legends’ Nigel Winterburn in action with AC Milan Legends’ Paolo Di Canio (Image: Action Images via Reuters / Tony O’Brien)

“Dennis was a real hero for the fans and so was Thierry. If you had told me what Thierry would go on to achieve after his first season at the club, I would have been surprised.

“So, patience may need to be shown to Lacazette. But his arrival and the fee that was paid shows ­ambition.”

Winterburn is also a huge ­admirer of Wenger and was thrilled he signed a new two-year deal.

He said: “I have always said that you’ll only know what he has achieved for ­Arsenal when he leaves.

“Arsene is a ­winner, a real ­winner. I know the impression many people have of him, but, trust me, he just hates losing.

“He is one of the worst losers I have ever known. Arsene wants more success at Arsenal – and the signing of Lacazette shows how keen he is to bring that.”

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