Is Alexandre Lacazette being harshly treated by Unai Emery?
Arsenal star Alexandre Lacazette was substituted again by Unai Emery on Boxing Day.
The Frenchman was elected to start in attack by his manager with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The ex-Lyon striker was one of the Gunners’ better players in what was a poor collective display against Brighton, laying on an assist for Aubameyang.
A great fake shot took three defenders out of the game, before he passed to the Gabon international for a first-time finish.
To fans’ bemusement, Lacazette was then substituted by Emery on the hour mark.
It was a peculiar decision, with Arsenal looking considerably less threatening after he made way.
Harsh treatment of a top-class player
Lacazette definitely has the right to feel hard done by this season.
He hasn’t played 90 minutes since the match against Wolves on November 11, and he’s only managed 90 minutes eight times in the league so far this season.
For some reason, Emery is reluctant to allow Lacazette more game time.
One would understand if the player was in poor form, but he usually always looks dangerous for the Gunners.
He’s actually managed 14 goal involvements in the Premier League this season (six goals, eight assists). His contributions are impressive, and his understanding with Aubameyang is evidenced by the fact they’ve combined for seven goals so far – no pairing have combined for more.
He’s twice been awarded man of the match by WhoScored and has an average rating of 7.15 which is impressive.
Emery has done a lot of good at Arsenal so far and has breathed new confidence and invention into the team, but his management of Lacazette seems particularly strange considering the player’s form.
One could understand his frustrations at being taken off against Brighton; it seems he is currently being underrated by his manager.