Robert Pires has warned Arsenal fans club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette may need time to adapt to his surroundings before he can reach his peak at the Emirates.
France striker Lacazette, who scored off the bench on his Gunners debut against Sydney FC last week, completed his move from Lyon earlier this month for a fee believed to be worth as much as £52m.
That eclipses the money spent on Mesut Ozil in 2013 and will be seen as a statement of intent from manager Arsene Wenger that he is gunning for major silverware in the upcoming campaign.
Lacazette hit 28 goals in Ligue 1 last season but former Arsenal favourite Pires – who also made the direct move from France to the Premier League – believes it will take time for the 26-year-old to find his feet in England and revealed it took himself “six or seven months” to adjust when he made the move in 2000.
“I think he will be a success,” he said.
“He is a good striker who has scored a lot of goals with Lyon. Of course, it will be very difficult in the beginning because when you play in France and move to England it is not the same, it is very aggressive.
“Maybe he will need time for the adaptation but everyone around him is very important, especially the French connection.”
Pires believes the club is in a good place and feels Wenger will play a key part in Lacazette’s success.
“I think Arsene Wenger has a very important role for him, Arsenal have Lacazette, Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck, it is good and I’m happy for the club.
“But to make the adaptation, 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. For me, because I came from France, it was heavy and that is why it is difficult in the Premier League.”
Lacazette is likely to get his first action against a Premier League side since joining Arsenal when they take on champions Chelsea in a pre-season clash in Beijing on Saturday.
Pires knows first-hand just how different English football can be having been handed a crash-course by Wenger after signing from Marseille 17 years ago.
“I remember that moment,” he added.
“After 20 minutes sat on the bench I said to myself ‘what are you doing here?’ because it was very, very difficult. I remember one tackle from Patrick Vieira and I thought this football wasn’t for me.
“It was very difficult and it is about adaptation, it is very difficult.”Euro Soccer Bonus
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