SportSoccer

Arsene Wenger says new man should set himself daunting goals target

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger has said record signing Alexandre Lacazette should set himself a target to match what Zlatan Ibrahimovic did last season.

Arsenal shattered their previous record fee to bring in the striker from Lyon.

Wenger pointed to the goal ratio of his Lacazette, who averaged a goal every 86 minutes last season.

"With Lacazette it is simple," Wenger said. "He is an intelligent player who can integrate our game well as we have a game backed on mobility, technique.

"After that we get the efficiency. His record in France is to score one in 80 minutes. If he can maintain that record that would be ideal for us. As a game is in 90 that would guarantee you a goal."

While the challenge of scoring in Ligue 1 may vary from finding the net in the Premier League, Wenger wants Lacazette to use Zlatan Ibrahimovic as his yardstick.

Ibrahimovic left Paris St Germain for Manchester United last summer and hit 28 goals before his season was curtailed by injury.

In Ligue 1, the Swede scored 113 goals in four seasons, averaging 28 a term.

"Goalscoring record is not necessarily transferable from the French League to the English league, that's for sure," said Wenger.

"But you could say that Ibrahimovic transferred an identical amount of goals from France to England. So that's the target Lacazette should set."

Wenger has spoken about the size of his squad and the need for trimming numbers - but said that does not mean the Gunners are finished recruiting.

"We are still open," he said. "But of course at the moment I have currently 33 players and it is very difficult to manage on a daily basis such a high number."

Arsenal start their Premier League campaign at home to Leicester on Friday night as they look to end a run of just one win from their previous seven opening fixtures.

One player now highly unlikely to be moving to the Emirates Stadium is Foxes winger Riyad Mahrez - who was heavily linked with Arsenal earlier in the summer.

The Algeria international has stated his wish to leave the 2015/16 Premier League champions but Wenger insists Arsenal were never looking to land his signature.

"We were never close," he added when asked about Arsenal moving for Mahrez.

"I rate him as a player but we have similar types with Alex Iwobi, Jack Wilshere back. Mesut Ozil ... we have plenty of the same type of players."