Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit believes Arsene Wenger's faith in Alexandre Lacazette "has gone" and expects the striker to be offloaded as soon as this summer.
The Gunners broke their record transfer fee [ESPN] to bring Lacazette to north London from Lyon during last summer's transfer window with the striker contributing a reasonable nine goals and four assists in his first 25 appearances for the club.
Just six months on from his arrival however Arsenal decided to break their transfer record again to bring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the club from Borussia Dortmund. The Gabon international was immediately thrown into the starting XI last Saturday [3 February] against Everton, marking his debut for the club with a delightful dinked finish in a 5-1 thrashing of the Toffees.
Lacazette meanwhile was an unused substitute that afternoon and Petit, part of the double-winning squad in 1997-98, believes Wenger has already lost faith in the France international.
"Lacazette is under massive pressure," Petit told The Sun. "He needs to improve or face the exit this summer. Aubameyang's signing tells me it might already be too late. Arsene Wenger's belief in Lacazette has gone.
"After six months his statistics are not exactly tremendous. Auba is exactly the man Arsenal need."
Speaking at a press conference ahead of Saturday's [10 February] north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur, Wenger was asked about Aubameyang's reaction to being dropped against Everton, explaining he had planned on bringing the Frenchman on before an injury to Petr Cech changed those plans.
Wenger did hint the former Lyon star was frustrated with the decision, but insisted that is the sort of reaction he would expect from one of his players.
"You do not have to understand too much. What you want is for everyone to be focused to win the game," Wenger said on Thursday, Goal report.
"Is it do they start the game or not? In this game [against Everton] he did not come on because we had a problem with the goalkeeper.
"But, overall, you do not want as well the players to understand too much why they don't play. They don't understand and I agree completely with them, they all want to play, that's natural and that's normal."