Rio Ferdinand has defended Alexandre Lacazette by pointing out he’s a good striker but reckons the 26-year-old needs to confront Arsene Wenger if he wants to regain his starting spot at Arsenal.
Despite costing Arsenal over £52m in the summer, Lacazette has struggled for consistent, prolonged game time this season. In fact, since moving to north London, he’s only completed a full 90 minutes in the Premier League seven times.
After Arsenal brought Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on board from Dortmund last month, the France international’s chances of being handed a start shortened even further.
Rio Ferdinand reckons the striker needs to show some fight and confront Wenger. Not to be argumentative but to show him he cares.
“It’s down to Lacazatte to say ‘I’m here to fight, play me or Aubameyang … I’m worth my weight in gold.’,” the Manchester United legend told BT Sport, reports the Evening Standard.
“He scored goals in France, he’s a good finisher.
“I don’t who you are, what level you’re at, if confidence goes out of your game you’re not the same player.”
Laca’s face when he missed his two late shots against Spurs on Saturday spoke volumes. He didn’t look annoyed, he looked completely dejected.
Arsene Wenger’s recent comments regarding players being unhappy with their lack of game time also suggest the 26-year-old isn’t too pleased with his first half-a-season in the Premier League.
“You do not have to understand too much. What you want is for everyone to be focused to win the game,” Wenger said ahead of the North London derby, reports the Express.
“Is it do they start the game or not? In this game [against Everton] he did not come on because we had a problem with the goalkeeper.
“But, overall, you do not want as well the players to understand too much why they don’t play.
“They don’t understand and I agree completely with them, they all want to play, that’s natural and that’s normal.”
As Ferdinand says, Laca needs to do everything he can to prove to Wenger that he should be playing. Then, when he does get on the pitch, he needs to prove why he should be starting.
If Lacazette doesn’t believe in himself, then why should the boss?
The striker scored 37 goals in 45 appearances for Lyon that season. He needs to harness that ruthlessness for Arsenal.
What’s more, he needs to persuade Wenger that he can.