Unai Emery thinks Alexandre Lacazette needs to go one step further in adapting to the rhythm of the Premier League, but the boss is clearly impressed with the striker’s progress.
Lacazette is certainly making a claim to be Arsenal’s standout player of the season so far. At first, he had to settle for a place on the bench, but the more chances he got, the better he seemed to play.
The striker’s first league start resulted in a goal and an assist, and he followed it up with four goals and two assists in his next six appearances. Unsurprisingly, Emery is impressed, but he claims Lacazette can still go one step further.
“We are speaking together with Laca,” Emery said. “For him, last year, his first year in the Premier League, it was a different league than the French league also and the position also, the rhythm also, not the mentality because he has a very good mentality and he has very good chances usually to score. He is very efficient.
“But he needs to continue his adaptation for us, for the Premier League, for the rhythm. This year we are looking at him one step more in this level.
“We are very happy but my message to him is: ‘Every day, don’t stop’. Don’t stop in training, don’t stop in matches, carry on to find his best performance. Not even just in matches but in each minute of the 90 minutes and he is doing that.”
Lacazette’s first campaign with Arsenal was actually relatively underrated. He started well, he finished well, and he was evidently struggling with an injury before his knee surgery in the middle. 17 goals and five assists for a first season in England is a good record.
However, he didn’t tend to do it for 90 minutes very often. Arsene Wenger loved to sub the Frenchman off, and arguably when he didn’t Lacazette’s performances dropped off at the end of games.
That consistency playing at the speed of the Premier League for the full 90 minutes is what Emery wants to see from the centre-forward, and it’s what we’re seeing more and more as the year goes on. Hopefully, we can look forward to a big season from Lacazette, but let’s start with a goal or two against Leicester on Monday, if possible.