Arsenal may have broken their transfer record to land Alexandre Lacazette, but Alexander Hleb sees him as being no better than Olivier Giroud.
The Gunners splashed out £46.5 million bolstering their attacking ranks, with Lyon talked into parting with a proven frontman after many years of monitoring the 26-year-old.Lacazette has settled quickly in new surroundings, with four goals netted in his opening seven appearances.
Hleb, though, is not convinced that Arsenal have acquired anything that they did not already have, with Arsene Wenger having overseen another frustrating summer on the recruitment front.
The former Gunners forward told The Independent : “Football is a crazy world now. The market is crazy, there is just so much money involved.
“Arsenal would have wanted to sign more players but it’s too difficult to compete with the likes of Manchester City and PSG.
“The signings that did come through are good, like Alexandre Lacazette, but I can’t say that’s a ‘fantastic’ signing.
“I am a fan of Giroud and I don’t think Lacazette is better than him. I think the two are on the same level.”
While Arsenal struggled to bring fresh faces in, they were able to keep unsettled forward Alexis Sanchez at the club – as Manchester City pushed hard for a £60m deal on deadline day.Hleb admits that managing that saga has been tricky for the Gunners, but believes the Chile international could yet be persuaded to stay put and commit to a new contract.
“Arsenal found themselves in a very difficult situation with Sanchez,” added the Belarusian.
“On one side, if he doesn’t want to play for the team you could say it would have been better to sell him for good money.
“I have seen him play this season [against FC Köln and Chelsea] and he still fights, gives his best and scores goals. He looked professional rather than angry that he didn’t get his move to Manchester City.
“I think he will wait until the winter, see how the team are playing and maybe sign a new contract. Performances like the one against Chelsea are encouraging.
“Why not stay at Arsenal? It’s a great club with huge tradition, great fans and Arsene Wenger as the manager. They can achieve things. Why leave?”