Arsene Wenger recently spoke about how Lucas has potential but needs to transfer what he does in training onto the pitch and Arsenal’s match against Reading proved this.
The former Deportivo striker has scored two goals and got two assists for Arsenal so far this season. The brace game against Nottingham Forest in the previous round of the EFL Cup and the two assists came against Ludogorets when he came on in the second half and set up Mesut Ozil twice.
Speaking recently, the 28-year-old claimed that he thought he would have more of a ‘starring role’ at the club but admitted that everyone else in his position is currently in form so he can’t complain too much.
Against Reading, Lucas showed exactly why he hasn’t been starting in the Premier League. He had moments of brilliance, sure, but I lost count of the amount of times he surged up the flank only to stop dead in his tracks, taking forever to pick out a cross. Then, once he’d finally decided who he was going to pass to and all the Reading’s defenders had got back, he would sometimes either scuff or poorly hit the ball to him teammate.
One example was in the first half when Alex Iwobi had a simple tap in to complete but Lucas didn’t square the ball heavily enough and it was easily intercepted. Then he had the cheek to flap his arms at Iwobi for not coming to claim it when it was his pass that broke the move down.
In the second half something similar happened with Iwobi again and this time the pass was just completely wrong.
It was frustrating and I’m sure the Spaniard knows exactly what he did wrong. He was just lacking that cutting edge and I’m sure this will come with time. His confidence just needs to get to the right place where he feels he can have a shot when he’s in the right space rather than waste time looking for the pass. I appreciate how unselfish he is but when you’re a forward, sometimes you just have to have a go.
It wasn’t a bad performance by any stretch and I know many were impressed by him. He got into the right positions and seemed to constantly be looking to attack, which is what we want.
However, for the time being, Wenger’s decision not to start him in the more intense competitions has been proven to be the right one at this point in time. He needs more time and more confidence.
Hopefully, despite limping off, he’s not badly injured.