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Arsenal’s defeat at the hands of Stoke highlighted their need for creativity in the final third.
The Gunners are staring down the prospect of losing Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City, although Arsene Wenger has reiterated his stance that the Chilean will not be leaving the club.
Without his presence, Wenger’s men struggled to overcome Leicester in their opening match of the campaign, although Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey’s late goals guided them to the win.
However, their first away game of the season ended in a 1-0 loss at the bet365 Stadium to the Potters. Alexandre Lacazette came close to notching his second goal in two games, only to see his effort ruled out for offside.
The wider point of the issue was once again the Gunners’ killer instinct in the final third, with the propensity to carve out clear-cut opportunities limited.
The failure may prompt Wenger to return to the transfer market, especially if Sanchez moves to City. As a result, Arsenal may be forced up the ante in their pursuit of Thomas Lemar, who starred for the Ligue 1 champions last season alongside Kylian Mbappe.
He scored 11 goals and contributed 1 assists in Ligue 1 and the Champions League last term. Lemar already has an assist under his belt this season, with Leonardo Jardim’s side winning their opening three matches of the campaign.
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Whether the France international will remain at Monaco for their clash on September 16 against Strasbourg is another matter. Should he leave, Thierry Laurey’s men may capitalise on his absence, building off their impressive win and bucking the trend predicted by Oddchecker’s Ligue 1 betting tips, in week two of the term.
Monaco’s loss would be Arsenal’s gain as his pace and ability from the wide area would offer Arsenal a different threat. The Gunners are not renowned for their crossing ability from the flanks, preferring to play through the defensive lines of their opponents.
Although that can be easy on the eye, at times, it can be to their detriment such as their defeat against Stoke.
The simplicity of being able to beat a man down the flank and whip a dangerous ball into the box should never be understated, especially with two forwards in the form of Giroud and Lacazette, who would relish that service.
Wenger has time to pull off the move and it would make a great deal of sense to operate in a different way without Sanchez, needing to bring out the best in the other stars in his squad.