Alexandre Lacazette’s benching for big games at Arsenal has left former defender Martin Keown bemused.
The Gunners made the France international their record signing over the summer, with £46 million worth of faith invested in his talent.
The 26-year-old has offered an immediate return, netting six times in 12 appearances to date.
He was, however, been left out of Arsene Wenger’s starting XI for a 4-0 defeat at Liverpool in August and was back on the bench at Manchester City last time out.
Lacazette was thrown on at the Etihad Stadium to grab Arsenal a consolation in a 3-1 reversal, with Keown of the opinion that he needs to be used from start in games that really matter.
The former Gunners defender wrote in the Daily Mail: “I do not understand why Lacazette did not start.Playing Surface/Getty
“This was the second big game after the defeat at Liverpool that he has started on the bench. I don’t think he deserves that.
“Any doubts about Arsenal’s record signing were erased when he came on and scored.”
Keown also believes that another substitute at the Etihad needs to be given more minutes heading forward, with Jack Wilshere a preferable option to contract rebels Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
He added: “Arsene Wenger’s game plan was to stop Manchester City playing and for periods, it worked. But where was Arsenal’s midfield creativity?
“They were not able to play the way they wanted in the final third and that is where Wilshere would have made a difference.
“He commits defenders, he creates space, he finds that pass for Alexis Sanchez or Alexandre Lacazette.
“Sanchez and Mesut Ozil did not have good games. If they are not going to sign contracts, then Arsenal have to start looking to the future.
“Does Wenger play Wilshere instead of Ozil, or in midfield in place of Granit Xhaka?”
Arsenal have another heavyweight Premier League encounter approaching, with a return to domestic action after the international break set to see them welcome north London rivals Tottenham to Emirates Stadium on November 18.