Arsenal news: Aubameyang, Pepe and Lacazette have given Emery unwelcome problem | Football | Sport
Regardless of their defensive fragility at times last season, the one positive for Unai Emery was that he has two top class strikers at his disposal in Pierre-Emerick Aubayemang and Alexandre Lacazette.
The double act became a trio this summer as the Gunners broke the bank to sign Nicolas Pepe for a club-record £72million from Lille.
Emery has only started all three of the stars in one match this season, the 2-2 draw with Tottenham in the north London derby.
Yet despite Aubameyang and Lacazette finding the net at the Emirates Stadium, it seems as though Arsenal have a tough task in finding the right balance across the frontline.
Lacazette was dropped the week before in the defeat at Liverpool, while Aubameyang has been moved out to the left-hand side on a number of occasions to accommodate the Frenchman.
According to Arsenal youth academy manager and former defender Per Mertesacker, the Gunners are going to have to innovate to utilise all their strengths moving forward.
“I think we have a lack of balance right now,” the big German told Sky Sports.
“Where you feel like, ok we have amazing strikers but they as well need to understand that we need to have a certain compactness.
“It’s not only about us three [lead] strikers providing an offensive threat. It is about these front three as well, leading the first frontline as being a defensive unit.
“So I think we need to be cautious of that. No matter how much striking power you have got, you need to have a sense of defensive compactness from everyone.
“So it’s not only the back four who should be judged on how many goals we concede.”
Jose Mourinho was in the Sky Sports studio for the draw between Arsenal and Spurs, and he believes Aubameyang would thrive if he played in Liverpool’s front three.
“I think they’re very good players [Aubameyang, Pepe and Lacazette]. Normally they should be on the pitch all three together,” said Mourinho.
“I think Aubameyang probably likes to play in the middle because he feels that he can score more goals. But maybe he can score as many goals playing on the left.
“What happens in Liverpool, [Roberto] Firmino drops back, in between the lines. Then he gives more space for [Mohamed] Salah and [Sadio] Mane to attack these diagonals.
“I could see Aubameyang playing on that left-side for Liverpool and scoring a lot of goals.”