Alexandre Lacazette will become more effective for Arsenal if he avoids dropping deep, he has been advised by a former Gunners great.
Arsenal beat Wolves in dramatic circumstances – not for the first time in February – on Thursday night. They fell behind in the 10th minute to a Hwang Hee-Chan goal. However, Nicolas Pepe equalised eight minutes from time, before a Jose Sa own goal won it for Arsenal in stoppage time.
The winner came as a result of a Lacazette shot – but the striker was still told after the game how he needs to adapt to become a greater influence.
According to Ian Wright, if Lacazette stays higher up the pitch, Arsenal will become a more complete team.
Wright told Premier League Productions (via the Metro): “Ben White and Gabriel [Magalhaes], the partnership is starting to work very well, like [Thomas] Partey and [Granit] Xhaka.
“We just need a little bit more going forward. [Martin] Odegaard, for me, is the glue for everything.
“We need more goals. We definitely need more goals.
“I’d like to see more goals from someone like Lacazette. I think some of the time he’s coming way too deep. We need a focal point because we’ve got players who can run off of him.
“I’d like him to stay up there a little bit more. We know he has to link but stay up there a little bit more; give us someone to hit.”
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Lacazette has only scored three goals from 19 Premier League appearances so far this season. It may turn out to be his last in an Arsenal shirt, since his contract expires in the summer.
The club have reportedly put contract talks with their new captain on hold until the end of the season. But manager Mikel Arteta felt Lacazette’s performance against Wolves was one of someone who wants to stay.
While he does his talking on the pitch, the Frenchman still may need to finetune his game. Even at the age of 30, a footballer should never stop learning.
Ince weighs in on Lacazette and Odegaard
Former Manchester United player Paul Ince agreed with Wright’s assessment for Lacazette. However, he didn’t necessarily see things the same way with Odegaard.
Ince added: “I think when you’re running past your own midfield players something’s not quite right.
“We’ve seen with [Cristiano] Ronaldo at United, if he doesn’t get the ball he gets deeper and deeper because he wants to be involved in the game, but then by doing that once you gain possession there’s nothing up top.
“With Odegaard I thought he was okay today. I didn’t think he was great. But you’ve got to get the ball to his feet.
“He’s the one who gets things going, he’s the one who gets the attackers going and if he doesn’t it nullifies Arsenal as an attacking force.
“But defensively I think they’re great. They’re a lot better than they were before. They look solid.”
Arsenal are fifth in the Premier League after their latest win. They are one point behind Man Utd, over whom they have two games in hand.