Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says Alexander Lacazette deal a bargain
Arsene Wenger has backed Alexandre Lacazette to have a similar impact at Arsenal as Luis Suarez did at Barcelona -- and he believes current prices in the market show the £53million price tag is excellent value for money.
The Gunners travel to face Liverpool on Sunday and Alexis Sanchez could come into the side having returned to training following an abdominal injury, and Wenger is excited to see the pair play together.
And Wenger says that, with the explosion in the transfer market seeing Neymar and Ousmane Dembele move for in excess of £100 million, it could prove to be a bargain.
"That's where I agree with you," he said when asked if the fee was favourable given recent deals.
"It depends sometimes on the timing. The inflation sometimes is so quick within the transfer market that the timing of your buys are very important.
"We were on the case last year already, so I came back, I knew the player. I think, considering the market, it is a decent price."
Sanchez has been linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium this summer as his contract expires at the end of the campaign. But he is likely to be called into Wenger's side, especially after Arsenal lost at Stoke last weekend while Sanchez was still recovering.
That could mean he plays alongside club-record signing Lacazette for the first time.
The France striker scored within two minutes of his Premier League debut in the opening day win against Leicester and Wenger believes he can have a major impact in north London.
"He is still in an adaptation period to the team and to the league," said Wenger. "He is a bit surprised by the intensity of it all in training and in the games. He will get there because he is brave and he is intelligent.
"The intelligence of his runs and the quality of his technique is very good. Overall I don't worry for him."
Playing alongside Sanchez, who left Barcelona following the arrival of Suarez from Liverpool, could help Lacazette settle according to Wenger -- who has compared his new recruit to the Uruguay striker.
"Their co-operation looks promising because there is no reason why, the two are good goal scorers, the two are good finishers, the two are good passers, the two have good assists," he said.
"I think that was the question we all had when Suarez went to Barcelona and they had already Neymar and Lionel Messi. I remember I had a conversation with Javier Mascherano before the season when Suarez moved over there.
"We both came to the conclusion if it works, it will be fantastic, but it can be as well a disaster because they can kill each other as well. But one of the qualities of Suarez is he manages to get the best out of people around him. He did that with Uruguay.
"He did that at Liverpool as well, you had Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling -- they scored over 100 goals.
"That is a quality that is important and sometimes you cannot measure so much because you only look at the number of goals a guy has scored. But sometimes the way he can marry with people around him decides the quality of the team."
Lacazette joined for a fee believed to be in the region of £53million to break Arsenal's previous record purchase of Mesut Ozil.