Arsenal legend Robert Pires believes Unai Emery ‘has to play’ Alexandre Lacazette when he is available.
The 27-year-old French striker has featured in 20 of Arsenal’s 21 Premier League games so far this season and has played the full 90 minutes in just seven of these.
Emery has preferred Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the central striker position this season and the Spaniard was booed by the Arsenal fans when he decided to take off Lacazette during their 4-1 New Year’s Day win over Fulham.
Pires, however, believes that the Frenchman has to start when he is available to and says the former Lyon forward is a perfect fit for the Gunners:
‘He is a good point of support & his performances are always good.
‘The good thing with Alex is he never seems in doubt. He knows his strengths & qualities. Also, he completely matches our game. ‘If he is always available, he has to play. Its simple.’
Arsenal are short of options up front as it is following the long-term injury suffered by Danny Welbeck in November and Henrikh Mkhitaryan also out for up to six weeks having picked up a hamstring problem last month. Emery must be careful where and when to play both Lacazette and Aubameyang upfront. With that said, however, the duo have proven effective when they have both started, but he cannot afford to lose either.
Although Lacazette hasn’t started as much or played as many minutes as he would have liked so far this season, the Frenchman has contributed seven goals and five assists in the Premier League.
Lacazette should start every game as Pires states, but Emery has to accommodate for others in the squad as well as oppositions.