12 Mar 2022 | 13:46 | Football
Mikel Arteta on the importance of Lacazette
Arsenal’s attack reform is no longer a secret. They failed to find a replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January, while Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah’s contracts expire next summer. Therefore, the number one task of the Gunners is to bring in a top-class striker.
However, Lacazette’s case must have caused Mikel Arteta and his associates a headache. The French striker has shouldered more responsibility, since Aubameyang was expelled following the defeat to Everton on December 7. Lacazette’s unselfish play, professionalism, and fiery spirit are the catalysts that make Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard more sublimated.
Since the defeat at Goodison Park – Aubameyang’s last game, Arsenal have won 25 Premier League points out of a maximum of 30 – no other team has had a better record than the Emirates Stadium team. From that streak, Lacazette has only 2 goals, but contributed 7 assists, the most of any player in the Premier League in the past 10 games.
“Laca knows my movements and my position,” Saka said after the Watford win. “It was fun to play with him.”
Arsenal averaged only 1.2 goals per game before expelling Aubameyang. Then, with Lacazette in the leading striker position, they averaged 2.3 goals per game. The Gunners also average more shots (17.8 to 14), more shots on target (5.7 to 4.8) and more touches in the box (34.4 to 14). 23,1). Ball possession has increased to 55.6% from 49.1% and most importantly, the Gunners are now averaging 2.5 points per game, up from 1.5 previously.
There are obviously other factors involved in that improvement, but Lacazette’s ability to hold the ball, run wide and create chances for Saka, Martinelli, Smith Rowe and Odegaard is a major factor.
“Laca makes the people around him better,” Arteta said of his captain. “He understands the game very well, Laca is a really smart player and his performance is phenomenal.”
So if you bring in another striker next summer, who has the same skill set as Lacazette today? Alexander Isak, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jonathan David are all strikers that fit Mikel Arteta’s requirements: young, mobile, well linked with satellites. The new No. 9’s task is to score more goals, which means they need more support, more selfishness, etc. who are willing to sacrifice like Lacazette?
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