Arsene Wenger Talks Alexandre Lacazette's Struggles After Miss vs. Tottenham

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal looks dejected after the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on February 10, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted Alexandre Lacazette's confidence may have been hit by the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the Frenchman missed a golden opportunity to claim a late equaliser in Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur

Lacazette replaced Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the 65th minute at Wembley Stadium but could not earn his side a point when through on goal in the dying seconds.

It means the 26-year-old has scored just one goal for the Gunners since Dec. 2, and Wenger said he could have been affected by the January arrival of Aubameyang for £56 million from Borussia Dortmund, per MailOnline's Daniel Matthews:

"For him, one against one with the goalkeeper, he is a good goalscorer. 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."

Lacazette signed for Arsenal from Lyon for £53 million last July after three successive seasons in Ligue 1 in which he passed the 20-goal mark.

He returned 28 goals in 30 appearances last term in the French top flight but has struggled to reproduce similar form in the Premier League, netting just nine in 26 appearances in 2017-18. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on February 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Aubameyang signed for the Gunners late in the January transfer window, and he has now started ahead of Lacazette in the No. 9 role in both the matches for which he has been available. 

Given Lacazette was already enduring a goalscoring drought, it would be no surprise if his confidence has been hit by the arrival of Aubameyang.

The Gabon international looks set to be Wenger's first-choice striker for the remainder of the 2017-18 season, meaning Lacazette has been demoted after barely half a campaign at the Emirates Stadium.

Olivier Giroud left Arsenal for Chelsea in January amid the signing of Aubameyang, 28, having played second fiddle to Lacazette for most of the season—he started just once in the Premier League for the Gunners in 2017-18.

Lacazette looks now to have dropped into his fellow Frenchman's former role, and it is unlikely he will be able to earn back his starting spot without claiming the kind of opportunities he squandered against Spurs. 

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