Arsene Wenger questioned about use of Arsenal summer signing
David Bentley believes Arsene Wenger has been overly cautious with Arsenal signing Alexandre Lacazette
David Bentley has questioned Arsene Wenger’s handling of club-record Arsenal signing Alexandre Lacazette.
The Gunners signed the France international in a £52m deal from Ligue 1 side Lyon in the summer transfer window having been linked with the striker regularly over the past few seasons.
Lacazette scored on his Arsenal debut in a 4-3 victory over Leicester City but dropped to the bench for their defeats at Stoke City and Liverpool.
The summer signing has scored six times in five Premier League games at The Emirates, while he ended his goal drought on the road with a goal in a 5-2 victory at Everton.
However, Wenger made the bizarre decision to start Lacazette from the bench at Manchester City and go with want-away Alexis Sanchez up front.
The Arsenal boss turned to Lacazette with his side trailing 2-0 at Manchester City and the Frenchman halved the deficit before Gabriel Jesus’ third for the hosts.
Former Arsenal midfielder Bentley questioned whether Wenger is trying to make a point to his record signing before he gives Lacazette a sustained run in the first-team, although he did feature from the start against Tottenham on Saturday.
“Lacazette has come in and hit the ground running. He’s answered the questions and he’s a goal-scorer – he should be playing. I don’t know why he’s not to be honest,” said Bentley, speaking exclusively to 888sport.
“You purchase a player and you want him to get confident so it doesn’t make sense to unsettle a player who has just come into a football club.
“I’d be playing him every minute of every game and there is no better period for him to play because he can be seen as the saviour of Arsenal.
“Arsene has options but whether his options are as good as a guy who scored on his debut and has such a good goal-scoring record.
“He’s the best man to play. It’s bizarre. Maybe he is testing him? Or he is being loyal to his other players.”
The Gunners were 2-0 winners against Spurs in the north London derby on Saturday thanks to goals from Sanchez and Shkodran Mustafi.
Arsenal finished in fifth place in the Premier League table to miss out on a Champions League spot for the first time under Wenger.
The Gunners have won the FA Cup in three of the past four seasons but haven’t won the Premier League title since 2003-04.
Read the full 888sport interview with David Bentley, including his thoughts on Arsene Wenger’s treatment of Lacazette.