Newcastle United Alan Shearer questioned Arsène Wenger’s decision to leave new signings Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolašinac on the bench against Liverpool and asked what the pair must be thinking now.
Speaking in his column for The Sun, Alan Shearer had a lot of criticism for the Gunners and their performance on Sunday. But he also highlighted two players who didn’t start the match, the club’s two summer signings, questioning why they were bench and what they must think.
“New-boys Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac must wonder what they have walked into — and why they were on the bench,” he said. “It’s already a crisis for Arsenal and I can’t see it getting any better.”
Lacazette and Kolašinac were both heavily tipped to start at Anfield. The two summer arrivals were hoping to play in their favourite positions as part of a full strength side against Liverpool, with Kolašinac only playing at centre-back so far, despite being signed as a wing-back.
And with Per Mertesacker back from injury, Shkodran Mustafi back from international duty and Laurent Koscielny back from suspension, it all seemed set up for an experienced back three, with Kolašinac finally showing what he can do on the left.
Instead, Oxlade-Chamberlain started there, despite just a day later Arsenal agree a fee to sell him to Chelsea. Lacazette was also dropped to the bench despite being a threat in both Premier League matches so far, scoring three goals since joining (incl. friendlies).
Both players looked shell-shocked as they watched events unfold on the day, and it does start to look like an early crisis with players leaving and the ones that stay looking so demotivated.
Arsenal don’t have much time now to do any late business, and on Sunday’s evidence they will need to. But what would be just as helpful is playing new signings when they’re available and in-form.