Arsenal interim manager Freddie Ljungberg has explained his reasoning for not bringing Alexandre Lacazette on against Manchester City.
The Frenchman was left on the bench by the 42-year-old, who instead threw on three youngsters in Bukayo Saka to replace the injured Sead Kolasinac, Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock.
That was despite the Gunners trailing 3-0 against the reigning Premier League champions.
In a lot of fans’ eyes, £46.5 million striker Lacazette (BBC Sport) was the most obvious change to make, but Ljungberg resisted temptation.
Speaking after the game, Ljungberg made comments that would suggest the former Lyon man might have to get comfortable on the bench.
He told beIN Sports: “With Lacazette and Auba we tried in the first two games I was here.
“We looked vulnerable defensively. But of course, they are both great players, that’s why I wanted them both on the pitch, but we became very vulnerable defensively.
“So we took the route against West Ham where we changed it and played one of them and then had more defensive organisation. And we played extremely well against West Ham and won that game very, very clearly.”
TBR’s view – Lacazette at 10?
A player of Lacazette’s quality should not really be left on the bench, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang really needs to be deployed through the middle.
To get them both in the starting XI, perhaps Lacazette should be played just off of Aubemeyang in a 4-4-1-1 formation.
He has shown several times in his Arsenal career that he isn’t just a goalscorer – he is a creator as well.
His link-up play is very good, and perhaps he would do no worse there than Mesut Ozil has been doing of late.