Will Arsenal's transfer business lead to tough times for Lacazette?
By Joe Harker
Spare a thought for Alexandre Lacazette, who moved to Arsenal last summer for a club record fee to be their much-needed striker.
Soon after joining the club he will have realised what a crazy place he'd entered, being left out of the team for big games and top stars Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil seemingly shuffling towards the exit.
Since then Sanchez has left, Ozil signed a new contract and the club had a surprisingly good transfer window, though Lacazette may be wondering whether he has already been replaced.
The signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang broke Arsenal's transfer record and the new striker looks set to be the Gunners first choice, a position Lacazette may have thought was his. Football pundit Danny Murphy believes the striker should be concerned about the arrival of Aubameyang and he may be right. The only Premier League game Lacazette has not appeared in this season is the 5-1 win against Everton where Aubameyang made his debut as the starting striker. Lacazette remained on the bench for the entire game.
Former Arsenal player Ian Wright believes manager Arsene Wenger has "destroyed" the striker's confidence by regularly substituting him near the end of games. Lacazette has only completed the entire game seven times in a season where he has made 28 appearances.
However, some Arsenal fans believe the signing of Aubameyang is exactly the boost Lacazette needs. They suggest he has the trust of Wenger, a manager known for ensuring his favourite players are given chances. The arrival of Aubameyang may also provide true competition for the striker's role and ensure that both players can stay fresh as they will not always be playing. Perhaps Lacazette should not see this as him being sidelined but as a challenge for him to regain the top spot.
Former Arsenal star Martin Keown is known for being critical of his old club from time to time, but he too believes Aubameyang will help Lacazette. Having two great strikers leads to the temptation to play them together and a partnership would be strong enough to scare most Premier League defences. It is rare to see a team playing with two strikers in the Premier League but if Arsenal do so it could be a huge boost for Lacazette.
Then again, Arsenal have not gone for a strike partnership for years and Wenger may not change that any time soon. If there can be only one striker in the Arsenal team it looks like Lacazette may have to get used to spending more time on the bench.