Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette is set to spend 4-6 weeks on the bench following a successful arthroscopic procedure on his left knee, according to the club’s website. Lacazette, who started brightly but has struggled recently, has become something of a scapegoat for many Arsenal supporters. However, the club were planning to rely on his goal-scoring prowess in the Europa league. New signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ineligible for the competition, following Borussia Dortmund’s exit from the Champions League and entry into the Europa knockout stages.
Lacazette to Miss Time
It is unclear when Lacazette sustained the injury, as he did not seem to be limping in Arsenal’s 1-0 loss at the weekend. The Frenchman came on in the 65th minute and missed two of the better chances the team created all match. Depending on the stats one wants to use, Arsenal’s expected goal tally on the match was quite low. Therefore, it may be unfair of fans to judge the French striker too harshly.
However, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has admitted that Lacazette may be struggling with a crisis of confidence that may have started with a rough patch and was hastened by the team’s pursuit and acquisition of Aubameyang. Some have even suggested that Lacazette’s tenure at the club may be in danger after only six months.
Lacazette’s main role going forward seemed obvious. He will likely serve as a late sub in league games where the team was chasing (such as this past Saturday). He will also be the main man for the club’s critical Europa campaign. In that sense, the timing of his injury is fortunate. With any luck – and assuming the Gunners can find their way past Östersunds FK in the round of 32, Lacazette could find himself back in the lineup for the second leg of the round of 16, scheduled for 15 March.
Highlighting the Club’s Struggles
However, Lacazette’s injury underscores the club’s relatively thin striker options for Europa, a known and seemingly worthwhile risk. At the same time, it makes Olivier Giroud’s departure even more difficult to take, sensible as it may have been. Here’s wishing Alexandre a speedy recovery and a productive Europa campaign!
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