Lacazette failing to respond to Arteta challenge laid down in Arsenal talks

Mikel Arteta made it abundantly clear that Alexandre Lacazette would need to put himself forward as the best Arsenal have to offer.

Bu after scoring in the first three Premier League fixtures of the season, the Frenchman has hit a rough patch of form, not scoring in the last six in all competitions.

Lacazette missed a golden opportunity in the 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa, where, with the game in the balance, he headed over from point blank range following a Kieran Tierney cross.

It's the latest in a long line of chances missed by the 29-year-old as pressure grows on his starting place.

The clamour for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to replace Lacazette is growing with every passing week, with both forwards desperately struggling in recent weeks.

At times, Lacazette has looked bereft of confidence, with his body language coming in for criticism during the home loss to Villa.

Ahead of the season, Arteta detailed talks with the striker, where it was made clear of the high demands he had in place for him: "He is really happy here. He wants to continue improving and contributing to the team.

"He knows about the competition he has as well with the front players so again he needs to demand himself to be the best striker at this football club and he was very happy to hear that and the way he's been training and conducting [himself] has been excellent."

However, since the talks with the Spaniard, Lacazette’s contribution to the Arsenal team makes for sorry reading.

According to Infogol, he has had just nine shots in seven Premier League games, with just six of those coming on target.

That isn’t entirely on Lacazette’s shoulders, with Arteta’s side averaging only nine shots per game as a team, the fifth lowest in the top-flight.

A man who knows a thing or two about being the Gunners main man, Ian Wright, waded into the debate this week, putting forward the reason he believes the former Lyon man is struggling.

Wright told the Wrighty's House podcast: "I was talking about Mikel [Arteta] and how offensive he wants to be, and it’s literally impossible in this team.

"I saw some stats about Lacazette’s average position. For a focal point, he’s not near it.

Should Mikel Arteta move Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang into the centre of the front-three? Have your say below.

"With the chance he had, for me, even with no one in the ground, you could see he’s going through that spell as a forward where he’s thinking about his next chance.

"He’s actually thinking about it. I’ve seen him do a couple of headers now where you can tell he’s thinking about it. He’s thinking about it.”

Tactically, Arsenal still have questions to answer before they can start putting results together on a consistent basis, but a player of Lacazette's talents needs to begin carrying his teammates, just as Arteta urged him to do.

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