Opinion: Unai Emery must not ignore Lacazette's impact
Co-Expert of Pain in the Arsenal, Andrew Dowdeswell provides an in-depth look at Alexandre Lacazette's performances after three pre-season friendlies
"Dropped to the bench with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang starting through the middle, Lacazette was eventually introduced midway through the second half in a straight swap for Aubameyang. Earlier in the preseason, Emery had been ostensibly more willing to feature both strikers in the same team, shifting Aubameyang into an advanced wide-left position.
"However, this is now the second game in succession that Aubameyang has started as the lone striker. It is also the second game in succession that Lacazette has changed entirely upon his arrival in the second half.
READ ALSO: Alexandre Lacazette's performance vs Chelsea
"He scored twice against PSG, being named Man of the Match for his efforts, and was a key component of the free-flowing, dynamic football that a youthful and enthused Arsenal side played in the latter 20 minutes of the 5-1 win. On this occasion, he also scored, a last-gasp tap-in to equalize, and again showed his sharpness with some lovely pieces of movement in and around the penalty area.
"One of the biggest selection dilemmas the Spanish Head Coach must decipher is the balancing of both Lacazette and Aubameyang. It is far from ideal having two out-and-out strikers who want to play on the shoulder of the defence in the same team. But it is also undeniable that this Arsenal team looks far more potent with both players present.
4 games— Lacazest (@Lacazest) August 2, 2018
Lacazette is ready for the season to begin. ? pic.twitter.com/wYSBQlGu5P
"The added pace and energy the two provide opens up spaces all over the pitch for the artistic, creative midfielders to interplay and work their magic. They allow one another to stretch the defence deep, knowing that there is another advanced player dropping deep and providing a shorter option, spreading the opposing defence over vast spaces. They also limit the possibility of either becoming isolated in the lone role, as Aubameyang found out for much of the game against Chelsea.
How did we manage to go from ‘we need a top class striker’ to ‘should we start Aubameyang or Lacazette through the middle?’ in the space of just over a year.— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) August 2, 2018
"Emery needs to see how much more threatening his team is with Lacazette in it. The point has been illustrated time and time again this preseason. Let’s hope that it yields regular season success also."
How would you rate his pre-season performances on a 1-10 scale?