Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has put pressure on striker Alexandre Lacazette and the Frenchman is low on confidence because of the competition for places at the club.
Prior to Aubameyang’s arrival, Lacazette was the club record signing and the man to take the side forward given the uncertainty looming over the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. Things started off well for the Frenchman as he hit the ground running in the Premier League and began to bag goals week in and week out. However, since then his numbers have dwindled, leaving the board with no option but to look for another striker in the summer.
After the completion of the Henrikh Mkhitaryan-Alexis Sanchez swap, Arsenal saw another deal go over the line as Aubameyang joined on deadline day in a three-way deal including Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud.
His arrival has seen Lacazette playing second fiddle to the Gabonese – something that he is not accustomed to in his entire club career. Speaking about the lack of goals in the Frenchman’s game, Wenger said:
“For him, one against one with the goalkeeper, he is a good goal scorer. He has gone through difficult periods before. He works hard in training, works on his finishing.
“I don’t know what happened, did he not touch the ball well? It can happen, it is a fraction of a second. Maybe the confidence is not at its highest because he has seen a competitor coming in for him.”
The question of his lack of confidence arose after his tame showing in Saturday’s North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. Lacazette had two glorious chances to get the Gunners back into the game, but he squandered both his efforts, leaving his side with nothing from their travels to the Wembley Stadium.
If he is to shut his critics once and for all, it is essential that he adds to his rather modest showing of nine goals from 29 games this season. The next few games may be essential in deciding the long-term future of the former Lyon striker at the Emirates Stadium.