Alexandre Lacazette has revealed he took a pay cut to join Lyon this summer after a five-year absence from the club.
The League 1 giants confirmed the return of their former captain on Thursday after Arsenal announced he was leaving at the end of his contract in north London. Lacazette has become the second major striker to leave the Emirates this year following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s move to Barcelona in January.
Lacazette originally joined the Gunners from the French for £52.7million in Arsene Wenger’s last summer transfer window in 2017. Lacazette made 206 appearances for the Gunners, scoring 71 goals and winning the FA Cup in 2020 .
The 31-year-old was reintroduced to Lyon supporters on Thursday at a club press conference where he explained how he shared their ‘DNA’ before confirming he had taken a pay cut to join the club where he scored 129 goals. through six full seasons in his first stint.
“My love for the club was enough to accept it (the pay cut),” Lacazette told reporters. “The project is also very important to me. It’s a decision that I made with my relatives and in the end, I’m happy. It’s moving to rediscover this stadium. I can’t wait to wear the shirt.
The striker continued: “I took my time to make my decision to come back. Football is a beautiful profession. It was difficult to follow Lyon from a distance last season and not be able to help them. I hope this period is over, and that we can find a strong Lyon. The goal is certainly to help the club get back to the top and secure European qualification.
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The former Lyon captain insisted he no longer needed to wear the armband as he knew he could ‘talk in the dressing room and help my team’. Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas added: “Thank you Alexandre for being with us this morning and for being with us for the next few years. We wanted to give credibility to our speech and move from words to actions.”
The Frenchman’s exit from Arsenal leaves Eddie Nketiah as the club’s only recognized senior striker following Aubameyang’s departure in January. Lacazette had scored twice as many Premier League goals in each of his first four campaigns at the club, but only found the net four times last season in a fallow spell.