I have to say one of my favourite Arsenal players is French striker Alexandre Lacazette. The former Lyon striker is not the most clinical, but he always causes opposition defences problems.
Lacazette scored his seventh Premier League goal of the season in the New Year’s Day 4-1 defeat of Fulham at the Emirates Stadium.
Gunners boss Unai Emery decided to substitute the striker in the second half, a decision greeted with boos by the Arsenal faithful. The Spanish boss may have just been giving the striker a rest, but it was not a popular decision from Emery.
In Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s shadow
Although Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seem to have a good relationship, on and off the pitch, Lacazette always seems to be living in the former Dortmund man’s shadow.
If the pair are on the pitch together and Emery decides to make a tactical change, it is usually the Frenchman who comes off ahead of the Gabon international.
It is easy to forget that Lacazette only arrived in the summer of 2017 for a big fee. He was not a no-name striker on his arrival in north London. The striker had proven highly prolific for OL and had earned his move to the Emirates Stadium.
I saw Lacazette as a quality striker that Arsenal had needed for a long time. However, he enjoyed just half a season as the team’s main striker before the arrival of Aubameyang in last January’s transfer window.
There is no doubt that Aubameyang is a quality player. However, maybe his quality rather overshadows Lacazette’s efforts at times. A return of seven league goals and eight assists this season in the top-flight is not a terrible record for a player who has not always started for the Gunners.
An attacking conundrum
The problem for Lacazette will always be that Aubameyang is regarded as a star player. Arsenal boss Emery is unlikely consciously undervaluing Lacazette. However, Aubameyang is one of the top goalscorers in the Premier League.
The Lacazette-Aubameyang situation was always going to be a conundrum for Emery to solve. They are the Gunners two best attacking players, but it is difficult to fit both into one team without changing formation. Aubameyang has at times played out wide to accommodate Lacazette. However, that is not always an ideal situation, even if Aubameyang has thrived in the position.
I would like to think that Lacazette is not undervalued by his boss. The majority of Arsenal fans appreciate the French striker, as the Emirates reaction to his substitution against Fulham illustrated.
Is Alexandre Lacazette undervalued at Arsenal?