• Lacazette will be out for at least five weeks after undergoing an arthroscopy.
  • Welbeck and Nketiah are the manager's only striker options for the EL clash on Thursday (15 February).

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Alexandre Lacazette will be out for at least five weeks after undergoing an arthroscopy on his left knee in London on Tuesday (13 February).

The manager revealed that the problem occurred following Arsenal's 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (10 February) and it was immediately decided that he would undergo a procedure to repair the damage.

Lacazette has been struggling for form in recent weeks having scored just once in his last 11 Premier League games and Wenger believes that his poor run could be connected to his knee injury. The Gunners boss admits that the France international's injury is a 'massive' blow but is hoping that they can find a solution for the nine games the striker could potentially miss while on the sidelines.

Arsenal sold three forward players – Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott – during the recently concluded January transfer window and brought in just one – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Dortmund.

While the Gabon international will provide cover in the Premier League, he is not eligible for Arsenal's Europa League campaign. Danny Welbeck is the only other senior forward in the squad, but he has struggled with injury and lacks consistency in front of the goal. The other option for the manager is Arsenal Under-23 star Eddie Nketiah, who impressed when deployed in the European and domestic cup competitions earlier in the campaign.

"Lacazette had knee surgery and he won't be available for the Europa League game unfortunately," he told beIN Sports.

"He got a surprising swell of the knee after the game against Tottenham and he needed surgery very quick.

"He'll be out for the next four to five weeks. It's a massive blow for us and we have to find a solution and nobody could predict that," the French coach explained. "Football does unpredictable things and it's always a good opportunity for someone to step in and do well."

"Lacazette is down. I think he recently must have felt something in his knee. Maybe that's an explanation as to why he wasn't scoring as many goals as he's used to."

Lacazette, meanwhile, provided a positive update after he confirmed that the procedure to rectify his knee injury was a success. The French striker was grateful for the support and is hoping to make a strong return in five weeks' time.

"Thank you everyone for your messages, I will be not on the pitch for few weeks because I feel pain on my knee. The surgery went well.. a good recovery before Come back Stonger," Lacazette wrote on his official Instagram page.