Arsenal need to move away from 'pretty football' to allow Lacazette to thrive, warns Henry

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The Gunners legend is frustrated to see Arsene Wenger's side continuing to play "pretty" football rather than going direct to a proven frontman

Thierry Henry has questioned the ongoing use of “the Arsenal ball” following Arsene Wenger’s signing of Alexandre Lacazette.

The Gunners have invested £46 million in a new frontman, with the uncertainty surrounding Alexis Sanchez forcing them back into the transfer market.

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A long-standing target has been acquired, with Lacazette snapped up on the back of a prolific spell in his homeland with Lyon.

Henry has, however, warned that Arsenal’s midfielders will need to adapt their game in order to bring the best out of a proven goalscorer, with there a need to move away from “pretty” football and become more direct.

The club’s all-time leading goalscorer told Sky Sports: "Granit Xhaka has it in his locker to play that ball over the top.

"He has an amazing left foot. If he has time on the ball he does not need to play through the middle sometimes.

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"Why do you want to play what I call 'the Arsenal ball' to the winger who comes in the pocket? Why don't you play the other ball? 

“That's the best ball in the game because you go straight to goal. They don't like it.

Thierry Henry Arsenal ball

"Does he lose the ball? No, he doesn't lose the ball. Does it look pretty? Yes, it looks pretty. But we want to go to goal.

"That's where we want to go. Can he play that pass? It is not difficult for Xhaka. They are going to have to learn with Lacazette."

Henry is also looking for Arsenal to resist the urge to use Lacazette as a roaming forward and seek to bring the best out of him by allowing him to operate down the middle.

He added on the 26-year-old: "Because he is so sound and good on the ball, he can play on the left or on the right, but for me he is a No.9.

Wenger: No update on Sanchez

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“When the big man comes back and hopefully he is going to come back soon, Alexis Sanchez, he is going to play on the left.

"I think Lacazette is going to play in the centre. That is where I would like to see him play. [Olivier] Giroud can offer a lot and he showed that [against Leicester] but I would love to see the partnership that Sanchez and Lacazette can create."

Both Lacazette and Giroud were among the goals in a thrilling 4-3 opening day victory over Leicester, with Sanchez yet to return to the fold following an extended summer break and continued questioning of his future after entering the final 12 months of his contract.

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