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Could Lacazette be a surprise central midfield solution for Arteta?

“Every time I take a shot at goal, it’s because I believe I can score”. This quote from Arsenal’s striker Lacazette has been one that hasn’t exactly rung true this season.

The current Gunners captain has been unable to find the back of the net from open play since the Boxing Day clash against the Canaries. This is of course something you do not expect from a striker at any level but especially not at a Champions League fighting club. With this being the case, Arteta must review the Frenchman’s current situation and make the best decision for him, the team, and Arsenal’s top 4 hopes.

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Lacazette has been heavily criticised for his poor run of form

Despite Lacazette’s low goal tally this season, something he gets a lot of praise for is his off the ball movement, dropping deep and feeding through other players. He currently has 7 assists this season but in the last month, he hasn’t registered a single assist or open play goal.

As Arsenal find themselves with an injury crisis and a limited number of senior players available for selection, Arteta must start being creative with every player’s position and roles to give them the best possible chance of Champions League next season. With Partey currently injured for what looks to be the remainder of the season, Arteta has tried Lokonga in midfield to resolve the issue however he was poor against Brighton losing possession 11 times in the game.

With Lokonga not looking like the best suited for the CM role, I believe Lacazette should pair with Xhaka to create a 2-midfielder dynamic. For most clubs I would laugh at Lacazette even being considered for a start in midfield but with Arteta’s dynamic tactics and structure, Lacaztete could thrive in this position. We all know Lacaztte is good in the attacking third of the pitch but he also looks strong in the defensive third. His high work rate will insure Arsenal will be lacking in neither department for options. With an average of 88% pass accuracy in the defensive half, Lacazette will have no problems in Arteta’s favoured build up style of play.

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Lokonga has been Partey’s replacement during his injury

Arteta has been looking for his attackers to lead the line in pressing high this season, however Lacazette has not been able to do this as affectively as the likes of Martinelli, Odegaard, Saka and Smith-Rowe. The logical way to combat his inefficiency is to make him operate in a deeper role to ensure the press can work as best as possible. As many other Arsenal fans have been wanting, I would also love to be given the chance to watch Martinelli operate as a striker. Martinelli would be able to break between the lines and give players like Odegaard and Smith-Rowe an option of a long ball over the defensive line, it will make the transition phase a lot quicker meaning the 2 midfielders will have less of an important role.

A player that went through this positional change was Joelinton from Newcastle. The Brazillian formerly operated as a striker before Eddie Howe converted him to play alongside Shelvey, creating a strong midfield partenership. Joelinton has now been operating on the right side of the field due to the recent appointment of Bruno Guimares who now plays to the left of Shelvey. Joelinton’s conversion has played a large part in the upturn of form in the Newcastle camp this season, saving them from relegation.

 

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In Arteta’s fluid approach, Lacazette will not be heavily relied on. However, this is not a long term solution in my opinion but only for the remainder of the season. I think that he should be sold in the Summer if he is not willing to be a backup, whilst Partey and Xhaka should stay in the core of midfield if no midfield signings are introduced.

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One Response to Could Lacazette be a surprise central midfield solution for Arteta?

  1. BP April 14, 2022 at 7:17 pm #

    Are you crazy? His tackling is terrible

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