Mikel Arteta is pleased he can now call on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Lacazette and says he’s relying on Arsenal’s senior players to take his young squad to another level.
Both strikers were ruled out of the Gunners’ opening game of the season at Brentford after testing positive for Covid-19 and while Aubameyang returned to feature briefly against Chelsea, Lacazette has only just been cleared for a return to training.
It’s unclear at this point whether the duo will be included in the squad to face West Brom in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday but it might not be a bad idea for them to blow off the cobwebs before a daunting trip to Manchester City on Saturday. So far this season, Arsenal have failed to score in back-to-back league defeats.
“That’s really good news because we really need them,” said Arteta of the pair’s return to fitness.
“We know that a big part of what we want to do, as I’ve mentioned before, is going to be determined in the boxes and these are the two players that have the biggest goal threat in the team.
“They are both so important to us as they are able to put that ball in the net. We need them firing, we need them at their best and the team has to help them to deliver that.
“I think we sometimes get really carried away because of the youth, the quality and the talent and the potential that we have through the squad.
“But the ones that are going to determine our success and who have to lead our success are the senior players.
“These are the ones who have to drive everybody else and then our young players and our development players, they have to be adding to that.
“The base and the foundation should be giving them that. They have that responsibility and hopefully, when we have all the players back fit and healthy, they will be the drivers of that and the leaders of that.”