Exploring what made Benfica’s Cloé Lacasse attract Arsenal Women’s interest – scout report
Cloé Lacasse is a Canadian international player who is actually playing for Benfica Women in the Campeonato Nacional Feminino as well as in the UWCL. She has been an international player since 2021 and has been progressing in a considerable fashion within the last few years, despite the fact that she was called up a late compared to her age.
Nevertheless, Lacasse has got a lot to offer yet and might have some excellent seasons very soon since she has been attracting a lot of interest from some big European teams such as Arsenal, while other WSL, Serie A or NWSL top teams might battle the Gunners to get the services of the Canadian international.
In fact, Lacasse has been having one of her best seasons at Benfica since she was very recently awarded as the “Best Player of Liga BPI” in 2022-23, after notching 21 goals and 13 assists in a title-winning season. This achievement counts a lot for the 29-year-old international as it would open new paths for her and allow her to gain even more visibility in Europe, and therefore attract more interest.
Afterwards, picking the most suitable choice for her would be key to defining the rest of her career because it will be very important to pick a team with ambitions and especially a team that needs Lacasse.
In this tactical analysis scout report, we will be exploring Lacasse’s goalscoring and playmaking skills and their importance within Benfica’s tactics while reserving a section in the analysis for identifying how she can fit in at Arsenal if the negotiations go well between the parties.
In terms of goalscoring and shooting, Lacasse can be considered a very efficient player in both. She is a player who masters different shooting skills and plays with both feet. Therefore, it is never too complicated for her to find a shooting possibility when having the ball.
Another trait that Lacasse has that helps her be a very dangerous forward is her great agility and acceleration abilities. This quickness of movements and runs combined with the ability to play with both feet make Lacasse a very dangerous player inside the box, especially when coming from behind since she is always able to surpass direct opponents to reach the ball first, like she did in this example when she was moving without the ball to provide a passing option for her teammate. Her teammate provided the through pass at the back of the defence when Lacasse just started running. Yet, she was able to reach the ball before the three defenders who were closer to the ball. She was also able to get the ball away from the defender and the goalkeeper using her left foot before shooting with her right to score a magnificent goal.
In fact, Lacasse has been having a very successful season in terms of numbers as mentioned above, and the following graphic confirms this fact since her xG is very high and the number of goals scored so far is excellent, taking into consideration that she reached 25 goals this season in all competitions combined. Working even further on her goalscoring attributes, especially if she moves to a more challenging league, would be necessary and beneficial since it would help Lacasse conserve her success and her excellent goalscoring numbers.
Once again, being able to dribble using one foot and scoring using another when she is put in complicated situations makes Lacasse a very unique player who can score goals even when being disturbed. The following goal action shows Lacasse having the ball after she received the ball in a 1 vs 1 situation with the opposing goalkeeper who obliged her to deviate her movement towards the corner. And when the goalkeeper returned to her position, Lacasse didn’t give up despite noticing a defender coming towards her and three others waiting near the goal line.
She decided to dribble past the first defender and avoid the two others using her right foot before shooting with her left to confuse the goalkeeper who didn’t expect such agility and quick decision-making in a complicated situation like that.
Another characteristic that favours Lacasse over numerous players on the left wing is her ability to sprint with the ball and protect it while moving towards the goal. She usually intends to reach the goal when she gets the ball and notices when there is even a slight possibility of advancing. Once she starts running with the ball, it usually becomes complicated to catch her since she uses her pace and her balance in a way that allows her to protect the ball while conserving the same speed and without losing strength.
The next picture highlights this ability to run for long distances to reach the goal without losing the ball despite being followed by a defender. What is even more impressive is that she frequently succeeds to shoot using her left foot from a difficult angle and still scores, which says a lot about her shooting techniques.
In terms of playmaking, the fact that she succeeded in providing 17 assists this season proves that Lacasse is a very good playmaker and a team player who can be creative during games. She provides key passes so often, particularly when she notices teammates who are better positioned for shooting or when one of them is moving without the ball.
Being usually positioned on the left wing makes Lacasse more likely to pass using her right foot when cutting inside and using her left foot when advancing towards the corner. Lacasse knows exactly when to use the right or the left foot and always looks in control of both types of passes. This, linked to the fact that Lacasse’s passing accuracy is 72.7%, means that she is not just an excellent goalscorer but also a very good passer. Plus, her rate of passing towards the box equals 49%, which can also be considered a positive percentage.
This assist in a game against Braga highlights Lacasse’s threat when cutting inside from the left wing and her ability to pick the most adequate passing option quickly. Here, she spotted her teammate’s movement towards the goal and timed her through pass to meet her without giving the opportunity for defenders to intercept the pass, which highlights Lacasse’s passing accuracy in key situations like this.
In addition, Lacasse crosses well and has already contributed with assists in the form of crosses several times and is reliable in this regard. And since she uses both feet, she has also been able to provide assists from the right wing using her right foot as you can see in this example, during which she provided a key pass to her teammate after running on the right wing and avoiding her marker.
Would Arsenal represent a suitable destination for Lacasse and vice versa?
As the above touch map indicates, Lacasse can play in different attacking positions as she touches the ball in numerous areas but mainly on the left wing and on the left side of the penalty box. This suggests that Lacasse’s most suitable roles are on the left wing but also as the second striker (on the left) and the advanced playmaker role as well since she has the abilities needed for that role.
If the negotiations with Arsenal go well, Lacasse can get a regular spot within the team especially if she performs better than Kathrine Møller Kühl and Caitlin Foord, knowing that Katie McCabe would rather play as a left-back or as a wing-back.
Moreover, Lacasse can be exploited as an advanced midfielder and would most probably do well in such a role as Arsenal need more creative and agile attacking midfielders. Yet, she will have to think a lot before making a move in order to guarantee more playing time and not move to a club that doesn’t really need her services in a concrete way. That’s why it would be better for Lacasse to evaluate the offers she’ll receive and not make her decision just for the name or the popularity of the club but also based on the playing time expectancy and therefore the chances of success.
Cloé Lacasse is currently at her peak and might develop even further if she picks the most suitable offer soon. In addition, getting the opportunity to play at the World Cup this summer would attract even more interest in her services and could give her more choices to choose from. That being said, a move to a team like Arsenal would represent a win-win deal for both sides.