Tony Cascarino has slammed the way in which Arsenal have treated Alexandre Lacazette since his big-money move from Lyon this summer, but Arsene Wenger has defended his stance.
The former Chelsea striker has claimed that the club-record signing hasn’t been treated as he should, featuring much less than he should considering his substantial fee, and that the player’s confidence could take a hit unless things change.
“Alexandre [Lacazette] is clearly a talented player but Arsène Wenger must be careful how he uses him,” Cascarino said.
“He came off after 66 minutes yesterday, replaced by Alexis Sanchez, having had little chance to impose himself.
“He was also taken off against Bournemouth and Stoke and didn’t even come off the bench away to Liverpool.
“It’s very easy to have a negative impact on a striker’s confidence and the Frenchman might be at a stage where he’s going out after half-time thinking, ‘If I don’t score in the next ten minutes then I’ll be off’.
“I was substituted a lot in my career and it does affect your confidence.
“Lacazette cost more than £50 million and is meant to be a new star.
“So treat him like one. I’m not sure Thierry Henry would have been taken off with Arsenal 0-0 away to Chelsea.”
Arsene Wenger has come out to claim that the player is in fact not ready to maintain a high level of intensity for 90 minutes, reminding the critics that both Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez didn’t play the full 90 minutes either.
“I felt Lacazette had a very good first half, he worked hard for the team and was very disciplined,” Wenger said.
“It takes him some time to maintain that intensity for 90 minutes.
“Don’t forget I have [Theo] Walcott, [Olivier] Giroud and [Alexis] Sanchez on the bench. After 65 minutes in a game of that intensity it’s normal that you bring fresh legs on.
“Does he understand that? I never ask any striker to understand that he has to make room for someone else.
“You never can do that.”
Does Lacazette look to be lacking match fitness? Why was he left unused against Liverpool? Will we damage his confidence?