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Alexandre Lacazette is not helping himself out

Arsenal’s striker situation didn’t provide much of a boost against Sheffield, and it has to be stated that Alexandre Lacazette is digging a bigger hole.

Last year, Alexandre Lacazette didn’t score a ton of goals for Arsenal. He didn’t tally a ton of assists either. But he still took home our player of the season award, and it wasn’t because there were no other options. It’s because he honest to goodness deserved it.

It’s because we all widely agreed that outside of scoring goals, he was doing so much. His hold-up play, his navigation in tight spaces, his link-up, it was all tremendous.

This year, not so much. In fact, rarely, if ever. He’s not been a strong presence up top and Mikel Arteta has made no bones about it. He’s sat Lacazette more times than not for Eddie Nketiah. It was Nketiah that guided Arsenal into the pause, and it’s Nketiah that is guiding the Gunners after the pause as well.

Before the pause, though, at least Lacazette was scoring goals as a sub. Now he’s not even doing that. He’s just sort of there. Every so often he’ll put together a half-decent turn, or set up a decent opportunity, but we have so many other guys that can do that.

Not least of all Eddie Nketiah, who has scored the first goal of any striker since returning to action.

Matched up against Sheffield, Lacazette had his usual opportunity to counteract Nketiah’s performance. Nketiah, of course, having just scored a goal against Southampton.

In response, Lacazette didn’t even get a shot off. He set up two key passes, neither of which amounted to anything, and accumulated just 25 touches of the ball in 66 minutes.

I don’t need to tell you that those numbers aren’t good. And they haven’t been for a long time.

His biggest contribution was getting fouled in the box for a penalty. I mean, sure, that was a big contribution, but that was just one touch. I can recall a couple of other times where I nodded consent at a positive turn. But again, this isn’t enough. Nicolas Pepe was completely dominant for about an hour. Bukayo Saka rose up when the opportunity presented.

Next: 5 Things Learned Against Sheffield

But Lacazette? A couple of nice touches. Very little else. With Nketiah already pulling ahead in the race, this performance is the kind that sets you behind the curve pretty badly. Good luck coming back.

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