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Arsene Wenger Explains Why Alexandre Lacazette Has Been Substituted Early

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has explained as to why Alexandre Lacazette has found himself being substituted on most occasions with the club. The France international joined the north Londoners from Lyon during the summer of 2017, and he has since contributed a decent tally of nine goals in 26 appearances across all competitions.

Despite being used to playing regularly for the entire 90 minutes with Lyon, Lacazette has now enjoyed a similar run with the Gunners, having completed the feat on just occasions, and when quizzed on the matter, Wenger appeared to suggest that it was more to do with the striker’s adaptation period.

He told Arsenal Player: “I must say that [Lacazette] plays in a position where you sub more than say a defender. You substitute a striker more than you would a defender, because they always have to provoke, to defend, to attack, you have to create holes in the defences. The strikers are more subbed than others. I put that down to an adaptation period. It was not so much physically – that didn’t drop so much – it just looked like he was a bit less sharp.”

Lacazette has not featured for the Gunners over the past 45 days, and this has to do with a knee surgery which was done shortly after a 1-0 league defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last month. He has, however, returned to first-team training ahead of the upcoming set of fixtures, but it will be interesting to see how Wenger will utilise the marksman, given he has limited opportunities for the Europa League.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ineligible, Wenger had no choice but to play Danny Welbeck up front during the Europa League knock-out ties against Ostersund and AC Milan, but the arrival of Lacazette provides the much-needed boost for the quarter-final stage of the competition, where the Gunners face-off against CSKA Moscow. With the top-four hunt nearly impossible, Arsenal face the compulsion of winning the Europa League in order to earn a back-door entry into next season’s Champions League group stage.