When Arsene Wenger finally answered the Arsenal fan’s calls to sign a new striker after years and years of desperation and misfiring up front, big things were expected of summer signing Lucas Perez. However aside from the EFL fixture against Nottingham Forest, we haven’t really been able to see much of our newest Spanish star.
Despite now having Lucas Perez to start up front for the Gunners, Wenger has instead decided to continue playing the converted winger Alexis Sanchez as a solo striker, leaving Lucas on the bench. Now it is understandable in my opinion to think that perhaps Wenger’s reasoning is that Lucas may not entirely be ready to take the Premier League by storm, given that player do need time to adapt, however the subs used in the Chelsea game changed my perspective on the matter.
When Alexis Sanchez was substituted and was replaced by Olivier Giroud (who is supposedly still lacking match fitness) it made me question what role Wenger saw Lucas Perez in. £17 million in today’s transfer market may seem like a low price, but it’s still not little money and so Wenger must surely have a starting XI role in mind for Lucas eventually. But what if that position isn’t up front, but rather on the wing?
Lucas has the right qualities to be a winger for Arsenal, fitting into the Gunners’ style of play down the wings. Lucas can utilise his pace and ball retention to make him a dangerous player on the wing, supporting the frontman with opportunities in the box. Lucas has proven he is capable of playing either on the wing or as a striker whilst at Deportivo and so with Alexis being seen as the club’s newest striking option by Arsene Wenger, perhaps Lucas will spend more of his time on the wing, replacing Alexis, rather than as a striker replacing Giroud.
Lucas has scored two goals in his Arsenal career so far, both whilst playing as a striker during the fixture against Nottingham Forest. Aside from that match, he has very much struggled for minutes, even with Olivier Giroud’s lack of fitness. Given that Alexis has been firing on all fronts as a striker, it’s difficult for Lucas to therefore be integrated as a first choice striker at the current moment, so perhaps the Spaniard will have to find his break at Arsenal on the wing instead.
Where do you think Lucas will finally manage to make a break in this team? Will he play mainly as a striker or on the wing?