Yes, Arsenal fans, I am aware that our club record signing, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, is not able to take part in any of the Europa League games that the Gunners will play this season, as he is cup-tied after his former club Borussia Dortmund dropped out of the Champions League and into the Europa.
It seems a bit harsh as Aubameyang played for Dortmund in the Champions League but those are the rules, so how could the super quick striker have any affect on the chances of Arsenal winning the trophy in May? Well in order to get to that final, with the first step coming up this week as we try to beat CSKA Moscow in the home leg of the quarter=final.
With no Aubameyang and with Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud having moved on, a lot of the responsibility falls to Alexandre Lacazette. Luckily for us the France international centre forward is back from injury but only featured as a sub at the weekend.
Even more fortunate for us is that Lacazette was given the chance to score when Aubameyang chose to give away his chance of a hat-trick by deferring his designated status as our penalty taker in oreder to give his strike partner a boost of confidence, as reported by Sky Sports
The Gabon international said, “Of course, I know that Laca is back, and I think I scored twice, so I can let him shoot, it’s no matter. I think it’s good for his confidence, so that’s why.”
That is a proper piece of unselfish team play as he will not be getting a winners medal if Arsenal lift the cup. It could prove to be a huge decision as well, because Lacazette was struggling for goals before his long spell on the sidelines and his confidence suffered accordingly.
We will have to see whether Lacazette makes the difference on Thursday, but if he does then everyone concerned with Arsenal will over Aubameyang a big vote of thanks.