Arsene Wenger ended his search for a striker this summer after years of Arsenal fans waiting to see a new frontman at the club. Admittedly Lucas Perez may not be the calibre of signing we expected, nor the quality we had hoped for, but his addition to the team can only be positive!
Many fans have been split down the middle regarding Lucas Perez’s transfer to Arsenal, because although we all wanted to see a new striker this summer, many would’ve hoped for a player of more quality than former Deportivo man can offer. However regardless of his level of quality, his addition to the side gives the Gunners another option up front and I’m sure he will bag a number of goals for Arsenal this season, especially if he continues his run of form from last year. Of course the striker hasn’t even had a chance to play for the Gunners yet, so we shouldn’t be so quick to berate or even compare him against some of the more top quality strikers that we had been linked with over the course of the summer.
One question that is sure to be raised is where and how exactly Lucas will feature for Arsenal? Primarily of course he acts as a striker, but he is also capable of playing on the wing. With Walcott’s form ever inconsistent and The Ox’s injury concerns every season, it would be no surprise to see that Wenger play Lucas on the wing, rather than as a conditional striker up front. Perhaps Lucas’ signing was one of the reasons behind Joel Campbell’s loan move away. With Lucas more than capable of playing on the wing, he should offer a sense of speed, power and precision, rather than the loose cannon we have seen in most of Walcott’s style of play in recent seasons.
If Lucas is not played on the wing, then of course he challenges Olivier Giroud up front, as well as Danny Welbeck when he’s eventually fit. I think Lucas’ primary role at Arsenal will be as a striker, but as Wenger seems to want to stick with using a formation that sees one sole striker supported by two wingers, I still think Giroud still stands on having the better chance of playing in that spot. Wenger is a big fan of the Frenchman and I can’t see him dropping him unless someone else proves themselves in that position. Lucas Perez has the opportunity to do just that, but at the very least he will provide a good level of competition for the French forward.
Going into this weekend’s game against Southampton, Giroud should be fully fit to lead the line after an extended break off. If fit, Giroud will more than likely start, especially as Wenger is usually keen on easing new players into the starting eleven, rather than throwing them into the mix straight away. However with the Champions League just around the corner as well, with a game away to PSG, I wouldn’t be surprised if Wenger chooses to give Lucas a run from the start this weekend and then allows Giroud to be fit and ready for the French Champions next week.
What role do you think Lucas will play? Will he obtain a starting XI spot, or will he spend most of his time as a substitute?