Arsenal legend Robert Pires expects Alexandre Lacazette to be a success at the north London club but warns that he may need months to attune himself to the rigours of the Premier League. The French maestro admits that he may need at least six to seven months to get used to his surroundings as the English league is much more physical and different from what he was familiar with in France.
Lacazette joined the north London club from Ligue 1 side Lyon earlier this month in a club-record €60m (£52.6m, $68m) deal and has already netted for the club in pre-season against Sydney FC only 15 minutes after coming off from the bench. The 26-year-old amassed 37 goals in all competitions last season and is expected to do the same from the outset at Arsenal.
Lacazette will face his first Premier League side in the form of Chelsea in a friendly game organised at the Bird's nest Stadium in Beijing on Saturday, 22 July. The Gunners have played three friendlies thus far winning all of them, while the one against Bayern Munich went into penalties and saw a brilliant display from Emi Martinez. The 26-year-old will play his first league game against Leicester City on 11 August where the fans will be hoping for him to show his magic.
"If you play in France, Spain or Italy, it is not the same football — especially when you play in England. Every game is very difficult.
"To make the adaption, to find the rhythm and the tempo, for me it took six or seven months. It was very tough. For me it was the aggression and intensity. Because I came from France, it was heavy and that is why it is difficult in the Premier League," Pires said, as quoted by the Mirror.
"Maybe he will need time to adapt, but everyone around him is important, especially the French connection.
"I remember my first game at Sunderland. Arsene said, 'Robert, I know you are a bit upset because you want to play, but I prefer it if you are on the bench and you can watch the game, the fight and the tempo'.
"After 20 minutes sitting on the bench I said to myself, 'What are you doing here?!' because it was very, very difficult. "