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Thursday 26 April 2018

Wenger admits Lacazette's lost confidence is 'inevitable'

Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette hasn't scored since early December
Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette hasn't scored since early December

Alexandre Lacazette losing confidence due to his nine-game blank in front of goal is "inevitable", Arsene Wenger has admitted.

France hitman Lacazette has failed to find the net for Arsenal in all competitions since his consolation goal in the Gunners' 3-1 loss to Manchester United in the Premier League on December 2.

The former Lyon star could have to bear an extra scoring load if the Alexis Sanchez saga rumbles on, with the Chile forward now expected to leave Arsenal this month.

Sanchez did not travel for Arsenal's 2-1 loss at Bournemouth on Sunday, with both Manchester clubs on alert to secure his services in the next few days.

Asked if Lacazette is likely to lose confidence over his lack of goals, Wenger replied: "That's inevitable, that's what happens when you don't score.

"I'm not concerned about the spirit, I'm concerned about the fact where it matters, we're not dangerous enough, and not sharp enough in our own box."

Wenger insists Arsenal will replace Sanchez this month if he leaves as now anticipated, but refused to be drawn on possible new arrivals.

Bordeaux's Brazil forward Malcolm has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium, but when quizzed on that situation Wenger refused to be pushed into any real revelation.

"There is nothing concrete there," said Wenger, on the latest over Malcolm's future.

"It's better I don't come out on any specific name."

Arsenal squandered what should have proved a routine victory at the Vitality Stadium, leaking two goals in five minutes to let slip their lead generated by Hector Bellerin's well-worked strike.

Callum Wilson levelled for the Cherries, before Jordon Ibe fired his first Premier League goal for Eddie Howe's side in 46 appearances.

Bournemouth boss Howe hailed Ibe's resilience in grafting long and hard to realise his potential - and backed the 22-year-old to accelerate his career after his first league goal for the south coast outfit.

"I'm really pleased for him, he's been knocking on the door lately, he really has," said Howe, of Ibe.

"He's had good numbers in terms of assists this season, but now he's added a goal and I'm really pleased for him personally that it's out of the way.

"And I hope it's the first of many.

"It's another thing he will take confidence from.

"I genuinely believe he can now have a major impact at this level.

"Of course you do need that feeling that only scoring can give you, it's a unique feeling.

"And you can't underestimate the importance of that goal and what this win could do for us."

Press Association

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