Mikel Arteta hints he will rest Alexandre Lacazette for Arsenal’s FA Cup clash against Leeds

Alexandre Lacazette has scored just once in his last six Premier League appearances (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta has hinted he is ready to take Alexandre Lacazette out of the firing line in a bid to help him rediscover his goalscoring touch.

The France international was dropped by caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg recently, but has led the line manfully in all three games under Arteta so far.

Lacazette contributed to a morale boosting win over Manchester United on Monday with his tireless work rate but missed several presentable opportunities and he was similarly wayward in front of goal during the Boxing Day draw at Bournemouth.

The 28-year-old has scored just once in his last six Premier League appearances and although Arteta is backing him to come good, his new manager admits he is in need of a break.

Arteta told Standard Sport: ‘He had the chances to put away [against United]. He has been really helpful in giving us a lot of options. He makes his team-mates better, that’s one of the biggest qualities.

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‘As well, every time he is in front of goal normally he is so clinical. I am disappointed that he hasn’t been rewarded with all the work he has done in the last three games because he could have scored three or four goals easily. But the goal will come for him naturally because he is a natural finisher.

‘Does he just need one to go in anyhow? Exactly. And maybe a little bit fresher legs will help as well.’

Arteta has an ever increasing injury list to deal with ahead of Monday’s FA Cup third round tie against Leeds, but he does have the option of selecting England Under-21 international Eddie Nketiah after he was recalled from the Championship club earlier this week.

On Nketiah’s future, Arteta said: ‘We have to sit down with the loan department and we’ll do that this afternoon, to discuss the best possible way for him to keep developing.

‘I think the environment that he’s been living in has improved him as a player, 100 per cent. He played some minutes, not as much as we wanted, but he’s a kid with incredible potential and we have to make a decision for the club, not for the next four months but for his career.

‘What’s the best thing to do? We have to sit down with him, hear from him – that’s very important because we need to know what he needs as well – and make the right decision for the next five months.’

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