Mikel Arteta gives honest assessment of Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette’s ‘difficult season’

Arsenal FC v Olympiacos FC - UEFA Europa League Round of 32: Second Leg
Lacazette has struggled to score consistently this season (Picture: Copa/Getty)

Mikel Arteta admitted Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette has had a ‘difficult season’ where he has struggled to score goals on a consistent basis.

Lacazette has only started 15 of Arsenal’s 29 Premier League matches this season, scoring seven times,

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Gabriel Martinelli vying for a starting spot through the middle, Lacazette has been in and out of the team.

That was the case when the Premier League resumed on Wednesday night, with young Eddie Nketiah surprisingly favoured over the £52.7million attacker in the 3-0 defeat to Manchester City.

He will hope to start against Brighton on Saturday and rediscover his scoring form – and Arteta gave an honest assessment of what’s been a tough campaign for the striker.

‘Alex is a player I always liked because of the type of striker he is, he can do a bit of everything,’ Arteta said ahead of their clash with Brighton.

Arsenal FC v West Ham United - Premier League
Arteta discussed Lacazette’s season (Picture: Getty)

‘He’s very talented at combining and linking. His work rate and the way he competes for every ball, it’s rare to find in a striker.

‘It has been a difficult season for him. Not just for him, for other players too. But we’ve been trying to manage that.

‘He had a lot of continuity with me but he had a spell when he was finding it difficult to score goals.

‘In the last few weeks [before the lockdown] he looked much better. He was a threat and he scored some important goals for us as well.

‘I just want to give him confidence and game time. I think the way he came on [against City] in a really difficult scenario showed a lot of willingness to help his teammates.

‘We have two strikers and they have to fight for their places. I want that type of competition within the squad.

‘Everybody needs confidence, and a striker does probably more than any other person on the pitch.’

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