Arsenal fans got to watch Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang start a game together for the first time on Sunday when the Gunners took on Newcastle United.
For 45 minutes they looked pretty nifty, particularly when the Gabonese set up the Frenchman for our opener. Their effectiveness waned after the break as the team succumbed to their usual defensive frailties, but for a brief moment Gooner appetites were whet.
We’ll almost certainly see more of them alongside each other next season. As for how they’ve coped with their first taste of English football, the boss has positive words even though Lacazette’s knee injury and Aubameyang’s cup-tied status in Europe hasn’t been ideal.
On Lacazette, Wenger told his pre-West Ham United press conference: “There are more goals in him. First of all he had his injury, he played for a while with his injury.
“Secondly it’s a first season, you have to adapt to the intensity of the Premier League and overall it is difficult to score here because 90 per cent of the time we play against teams with 10 people in the final third.
“In most of the games we had 70 per cent possession, but that makes it difficult as well for the strikers because there is less room and less freedom as well because most of the time people play with three central defenders. But Alex he has shown that he has the talent and the quality to play for Arsenal Football Club.”
It’s well known that Aubameyang’s first few months at the Emirates have been very stop-start. His form has been impressive in recent weeks but that’s been tempered by regular spells on the sidelines while his peers tackle the Europa League.
“Yes, it’s true [he has handled it pretty well],” remarked Wenger.
“At some stage, I would say most of the time, after the Europa League games, it was a help because I could rest some players and bring someone fresh in.
“When you prepare for the Europa League it is a handicap because he cannot play, and when the games become important like they are at the moment it raises the question [of whether he should be cup-tied].”
Also, in case you missed it. Pierre likes Alex as a person.