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It’s time to drop Alexandre Lacazette
Let me preface this whole article with this: Alexandre Lacazette is a good player. He is easily among the 11 best players at Arsenal right now and I enjoy watching him play.
Getting that out of the way, I firmly believe that he should no longer be starting for Arsenal and if we need to sell a striker to raise fund for another position of need, I think that he is the player to sacrifice.
The problem with Lacazette is that even though he is one of Arsenal’s best players and one of only a few true goal threats in the team he plays in a position where Arsenal have a better option in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The two players seem to be great friends and they do seem to enjoy playing together. However when they are on the field together it isn’t a classic striker partnership and too often it forces Aubameyang into wide areas where his world class talents are wasted.
There is also the uncomfortable fact that Lacazette hasn’t been especially good when he has played this year. He does have 5 goals for Arsenal but that masks and overall fairly mediocre stat line for such an important player.
A slump in form is understandable but when it coincides with forcing another compromise to weaken the team with moving the teams best striker out wide it is something that cannot continue as Arsenal’s first choice. The stats show that even with as bad as Arsenal have been, they have been slightly worse with Lacazette on the field.
Playing Time Table PlayPlayPlay TeamTeamTeamTeamTeam TeamTeamTeamTeam Player Min Min% 90s PPM onG onGA +/- +/-90 onxG onxGA xG+/-
▼ xG+/-90 Shkodran Mustafi73635.08.21.752412+12+1.4714.36.5+7.8+1.34Calum Chambers1,17055.713.01.652414+10+0.7720.913.6+7.2+0.60Emiliano Martínez66031.47.31.862210+12+1.6412.15.2+6.9+1.37Martinelli726220.127.116.112312+11+1.3612.06.5+5.5+0.96Lucas Torreira1,09618.104.22.1683118+13+1.0721.216.4+4.9+0.47Dani Ceballos93844.710.41.772211+11+1.0616.711.9+4.9+0.50Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang1,63186.318.11.482826+2+0.1130.627.0+3.6+0.20Bukayo Saka76622.214.171.1241511+4+0.4710.46.8+3.5+0.53Granit Xhaka1,18862.913.21.432120+1+0.0823.019.5+3.5+0.26Kieran Tierney773126.96.36.1991712+5+0.5812.99.9+3.0+0.41Rob Holding557188.8.131.521810+8+1.297.44.5+2.9+0.74Sead Kolašinac1,053184.108.40.2062118+3+0.2619.216.3+2.9+0.27Mattéo Guendouzi1,43668.416.01.452524+1+0.0624.121.5+2.5+0.17Joe Willock1,054220.127.116.112518+7+0.6015.713.3+2.4+0.26Héctor Bellerín57618.104.22.1681613+3+0.479.37.3+2.0+0.41Reiss Nelson3222.214.171.124112+9+2.525.03.1+1.9+0.75Nicolas Pépé1,07951.412.01.672317+6+0.5020.819.1+1.7+0.14Ainsley Maitland-Niles91143.410.12.002418+6+0.5914.112.5+1.6+0.18Emile Smith-Rowe19529.52.23.0052+3+1.384.12.6+1.5+0.90Henrikh Mkhitaryan1126.96.36.19920+2+1.621.90.4+1.4+1.15David Luiz1,38188.8.131.5232300.0025.325.6-0.3-0.02Sokratis Papastathopoulos1,44068.616.01.382423+1+0.0623.023.4-0.4-0.03Bernd Leno1,44076.216.01.38242400.0023.924.7-0.8-0.05Nacho Monreal27018.83.02.004400.002.93.8-0.9-0.31Mesut Özil77637.08.61.001716+1+0.1210.311.6-1.3-0.18Alexandre Lacazette76536.48.51.001415-1-0.1212.915.3-2.4-0.28
Arsenal are coming into the festive period where rotation will be necessary so he will still be badly needed. I just hope that Freddie Ljungberg (or whoever is head coach) has the guts to make the tough call and choose a balanced team with only one of Arsenal’s two main strikers going forward.