Arsenal summer signing Alexandre Lacazette's agent, David Venditelli, has addressed concerns over the striker's exclusion from the starting XI against Manchester City, stating that the move was purely tactical, as already iterated by manager Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman was also benched in the Gunners' 4-0 loss to Liverpool in August -- fuelling concerns that the manager does not trust him for big games.
Lacazette came on as a second-half substitute and put the ball in the back of the net, leading to an uproar among fans and pundits alike, who were left wondering on what could have happened if he were there from the start. The Gunners suffered a 3-1 loss, in a game riddled by refereeing controversies. The Frenchman has made a brilliant start to his debut season in the Premier League, scoring six goals in 11 appearances thus far.
Venditelli has allayed fears of his client's lack of participation in big games as he made the starting line-up against Chelsea and was unlucky not to score as he skied a ricochet after Aaron Ramsey's shot had come back off the post. The Frenchman is still learning and there is confidence in the ranks that he will win the manager over and start more crunch games.
"It's not worrying, because he played at Chelsea," Venditelli told SFR Sport, as quoted by ESPN. "Our way of working is to relativise things: 11 matches, nine starts. Of course, it's not nice to see that he didn't start that match, but it was -- as Arsene Wenger explained -- for tactical reasons.
"He's learning. Alex needs to have calm around him. He's happy, and Arsenal are too with his work. It's not because a player doesn't play, even though it's two important games of course. He would have preferred to have played them.
"When you're outside the club, I can understand the questions. I understand, but I think Alex isn't complaining about his playing time, even if he would prefer to start games like those against City or Liverpool.
"But he talks to the manager, the staff -- there's no problem. Afterwards, there's a choice made. You can't, every time your player doesn't play, even if it's Alexandre Lacazette, knock on the door or pick up the phone and talk to the manager. No, no, it's not time yet. Everything is fine."