Arsene Wenger was pleased to see Lucas Perez score his first goals for Arsenal – but claims the Spanish forward is “too reliant” on his left foot.
Perez made his second start for the Gunners in their 4-0 EFL Cup win at Nottingham Forest and was disappointingly peripheral for the first hour before he got his chance from the penalty spot.
With the Gunners leading through Granit Xhaka’s 30-yard strike, Chuba Akpom went down under a challenge from former Chelsea defender Michael Mancienne and Perez tucked away the resulting spot-kick.
The 28-year-old then ploughed his way through the Forest defence and around the goalkeeper to prod in the third goal. He could have had a hat-trick shortly afterwards but Vladimir Stojkovic smothered his effort.
Perez capped an impressive final half an hour by putting Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain through to round off a comprehensive victory
Asked if the two goals would help the confidence of a player who arrived from Deportivo La Coruna for a fee reported to be in the region of £17million, Wenger said: “Of course, a striker is always growing when he scores goals.
“He did well. He’s quick, he’s determined. He uses well his left foot – a bit too much in my taste. He doesn’t use his right enough. Overall he’s like all the left-footed players, you know.
“But I like his second goal because he has shown not only technique but determination and fight for the ball and finishing and I like that. The part he played in the goal of Oxlade-Chamberlain shows his awareness of other people and it is intelligent play.
“But the most important thing for me is that we win the game. Who scores is not so important but for the player individually it’s good because he can convince people he can play for us. It will help himself as well to grow in belief.”
Forest boss on Arsenal defeat
Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner, making his first start for Forest against the club with whom he spent nine years, almost scored his first Forest goal by flashing a fierce right-footed shot narrowly wide of the far post from the left edge of the penalty area.
The Dane also set up Pajtim Kasami early on as a good chance to take the lead went begging.
Asked about Bendtner’s display, Reds boss Philippe Montanier said: “Like the team he started very well at the beginning and then after it was very difficult for him because Arsenal had the ball and he did not have a lot of opportunity to play.
“But physically I am surprised he is so fit because he had not a big pre-season with Copenhagen.
“It was a good experience not only for Nicklas but for all the players because Arsenal have great technique, better than us, and it was difficult for us but my players, they gave everything.”