Arsene Wenger thinks Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have what it takes to play alongside each other after the France international scored on his return from injury to help Arsenal to a 3-0 win over Stoke City.
The France international won and converted an 89th-minute penalty in an impressive cameo off the bench after Aubemeyang had put the Gunners in a commanding position with a spot-kick of his own and a smart finish from a corner.
The Gabon international might have helped himself to a hat-trick had he taken ownership of the second spot-kick, however, he was happy to defer responsibility to his teammate knowing a goal might be a timely confidence boost.
Asked in his post-match press conference if he was surprised by Aubemeyang’s generosity, Wenger responded, “That shows well the state of our society, because when people are generous, we are surprised!
“No [I wasn’t surprised] because I know they have a good understanding. I like that because it can only make the team stronger. Lacazette came back from a long injury. I think it’s great. Would you have done it? I’m not sure! ”
The boss was also optimistic about the possibility of playing Lacazette and Aubameyang alongside each other in the future with the latter having a past in a wide position.
“Yeah, I think Aubameyang played a long part of his career on the left, at St Etienne, and in the first year at Dortmund [with Lewandowski], he played on the left. After, when Lewandowski moved to Bayern Munich, he played centrally.”
With Aubameyang cup-tied in the Europa League, Lacazette will challenge Danny Welbeck for a starting berth ahead of Thursday’s quarter-final first-leg with CSKA Moscow.
The England international apparently picked up a back problem today but it’s too early to say whether the Frenchman will take his place.
“I don’t know. I will have to wait a little bit before making that decision.
“He’s still lacking a bit of competitive edge. He’s been out for two months, he worked hard, but he still lacks a fraction maybe. In training, he looks sharp. How long can he last in a game? I don’t know. He certainly needs one or two more games.”