Arsene Wenger, toward the end of his tenure, mentioned on more than a few occasions that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang likes to play on the left – and how it opens up possibilities of playing two up front with Alexandre Lacazette.
This possibility is an exciting one, but can both players create an explosive partnership?
Tactics have changed in the last couple of seasons, and this seismic shift in footballing thought has coincided with our slump in the Premier League. Last season saw us finish outside the top four and this season is yet another occasion when we’re left out in the cold when the European big boys arrange a meet.
Not all clubs have adapted to the change in formations and preferences, but these clubs have another gear, or a PlanB to fall back on when they find the going tough. With our attacking players, are they better suited to a two-pronged strike force?
The answer to this question lies in the styles and skills of our two strikers. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is amongst the best in Europe for goals per minute this season and was Bundesliga top scorer in a struggling Dortmund side last campaign.
Alexandre Lacazette has shown his pedigree with us and his prior exploits for Lyon were amongst the best in terms of goal amount not only in Ligue Un, but amongst the big leagues too.
Both players would get into the majority of the Euro giants squads, but do their styles lend themselves to a budding duo?
The answer is an emphatic yes.
Aubameyang – as Wenger went to great pains to highlight – is a pacy forward that likes to cut in as much as he likes to lurk on the shoulder of the last man. He was just at home out wide for his old club as he was in a central role, and his goal numbers back this up.
Auba’s goals in the last few games of the season also showed an intrinsic intuition to be in the right place at the right time in the box.
Lacazette is a bonafide Number9. His strength lies in his finishing, his ability to find space in the box and his awareness. With a foil alongside him, his talent for finding a spare yard could be made even more potent as another striker can take the heat away in terms of being shadowed.
The other thing to remember though, is the changes that will have to come with having both in the same side. While it wouldn’t be two strikers technically as Aubameyang could take one of the wide spots in our 4-2-3-1 makeup, it means one of our current incumbents would be dethroned somewhat.
Mesut Ozil is a mainstay and he would perhaps become even more lethal than he is now with two men to train his laser-vision onto. then there is Henrikh Mkhitaryan who would take up another.
Much will hinge on whoever comes in as Wenger’s replacement, but if they’re schooled in recent tactics, then two up top could be our way forward.
The main impact of choosing both in our eleven would fall on Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey.
Both midfielders are often deployed in our attacking quartet, nearly as often as they are in the engine room. With the success of Auba and Laca means that one would be hit in terms of starts, or first team regard. They would be demoted to an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain role, 20-25 starts, but very much picking splinters out of their posterior from prolonged exposure to the subs bench.
The option for Lacazette and Aubameyang both starting is one that we have been crying out for for a while, and a season ago, if we were presented with the promise of both being in our team, we would have snapped it up.
Only time will tell if we do go ahead with this exciting prospect, or if either striker becomes second fiddle to the other as we maintain our current approach. Either way though, it’s a good option to have and our forward line is a healthy one right now.
Would you play both in the side? Would you have both as strikers? Leave your comments in the comments box below, and thanks for reading.