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Exciting times ahead for Lyon's Lacazette

Published: Saturday 27 November 2010, 9.00CET
Alexandre Lacazette only made his first-team debut in May, but the 19-year-old winger has already shown enough for team-mate Jimmy Briand to describe him as "the future of Lyon".
by Christian Châtelet
Published: Saturday 27 November 2010, 9.00CET

Exciting times ahead for Lyon's Lacazette

Alexandre Lacazette only made his first-team debut in May, but the 19-year-old winger has already shown enough for team-mate Jimmy Briand to describe him as "the future of Lyon".

Name: Alexandre Lacazette
Club:
Olympique Lyonnais
Debut: 5 May 2010 v AJ Auxerre (Ligue 1)
Position: Forward
Nationality: French
Date of birth: 28/05/91

Considered by striker Jimmy Briand to be "the future of Lyon", right-winger Lacazette is one of the new crop of youngsters to shoot to prominence at Stade de Gerland alongside Maxime Gonalons (21), Jérémy Pied (21) and Clément Grenier (19). The 19-year-old Lacazette may only have made his debut at the beginning of May, but he has already shown enough for both club and country to suggest the OL production line has unearthed another gem.

Lacazette grew up in Lyon's eighth arrondissement and follows the example set by the likes of Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa in graduating from the club's vaunted academy. He has also progressed through the France youth ranks and stepped into the limelight last summer when his fine play down the right wing was a major factor in Les Bleuets winning the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Championship on home soil.

Despite being used largely as a substitute during that tournament, Lacazette made a telling impact coming off the bench, scored three times and brought incredible enthusiasm, inventiveness and guile to the French cause; most tellingly of all in the final when he headed in Gaël Kakuta's cross with five minutes to play to earn France a 2-1 win against Spain.

Three months earlier, Lacazette, who joined OL's academy in 2003 aged 12, had appeared in his first professional game against AJ Auxerre, replacing Bafétimbi Gomis in the 78th minute to help Lyon turn a 1-1 scoreline into a 2-1 victory. So far this season he has made three Ligue 1 appearances, though he is still to start for the club, and proved the difference against FC Sochaux Montbéliard on 30 October, his fine solo effort earning the points in a 2-1 victory.

Breakthrough game
SL Benfica 4-3 Olympique Lyonnais
2 November 2010, UEFA Champions League
Lyon were trailing 4-0 to the Portuguese champions when coach Claude Puel replaced Pied with Lacazette 19 minutes from time and the youngster made an immediate impact on his competition debut. Three minutes after coming on, he skipped past two defenders and pulled the ball back for Yoann Gourcuff to finish. Then with five minutes to play he flicked on a Gourcuff corner which Gomis stabbed in. Lyon would score a third deep in added time but Lacazette could not quite inspire a fourth.

He says:
"Setting up two assists [in the above game against Benfica] was great, but unfortunately overshadowed by the fact we lost. I hope it can go on like this for me."

"I know Lyon are a great side and there are many players ahead of me. I won't demand Lisandro's place. I'm not crazy. I'm trying to get closer."

They say:
"He's quick, he's technical, he's very skilled in front of goal, he's very confident at the moment which is going to be useful to us going forward so I think he's the future of Lyon."
Jimmy Briand, Lyon forward

Last updated: 04/01/11 1.02CET

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