Arsene Wenger has revealed that Alexandre Lacazette didn’t start against West Ham because he’s suffering from a groin problem.
When Lacazette started on the bench away to West Ham on Wednesday night, most fans assumed it was because of Olivier Giroud’s excellent goalscoring record against the Hammers. However, it was actually because Arsenal’s £52m signing is apparently suffering from a groin problem.
“Lacazette, despite all that was said, I played him a little bit with his groin problem and I don’t want to go overboard,” Wenger told BT Sport.
“Olivier Giroud is doing very well.
“Many times I’ve repeated that, it’s not irregular.
“For me, Giroud is a regular and, yes, he came on the other day and gave us a point again.”
Lacazette came on with just eight minutes of regular time left during the 0-0 draw at the London Stadium. Therefore, it doesn’t look as if the groin problem is all that serious.
The 26-year-old was in Ligue 1 from the age of 12. The French league break for 24 days over the winter where the Premier League obviously doesn’t, so if the France international is experiencing a small problem now, it needs to handled delicately or it can become a lot worse very quickly. He’s not used to the high volume of fixtures at this time of year and might have just needed a rest.
What’s more concerning, however, is that Lacazette has only completed 90 minutes of Premier League football twice this season. The first time was Arsenal’s 4-3 win over Leicester on the opening day of the season and the second was United.
It’s unclear why this is, since Alexis Sanchez, who’s been performing far worse than Lacazette, is often kept on the pitch until the final whistle.
Is Lacazette not fit enough to play 90 minutes because, if so, that’s a concern.