This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to The Daily Mirror, former Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas has revealed Arsenal’s front two of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will fire the Gunners into the top four next season.
The north London side’s strike pair struck up a fine relationship both on and off the pitch, and provided the bulk of the goals last season.
Now, Jenas has compared the duo to Liverpool’s much-vaunted front-three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, and claimed the Lacazette-Aubameyang partnership could see the Gunners return to the Champions League.
He said: “Emery has the best front two in the league in Aubameyang and Lacazette. The front three at Liverpool are a machine but in terms of front twos, old school style of play, they are as good as it gets. They have that chemistry like Firmino, Mane and Salah. When it really happens, it happens. I think that is what will get them into the top four.
“But they won’t go toe to toe with the Liverpool attack yet, but if they deliver on a weekly basis, maybe in the future. If you look at the defensive structure at Liverpool, that midfield and defence, it allows Liverpool’s front three far more freedom that Arsenal’s.
“There is no doubt they are an attacking force, they proved that last year with the amount of goals they scored, they just leak a lot of goals. If they fix that they will definitely finish top four.”
After the signing of Lille winger Nicolas Pepe for a club-record fee, there is no doubting that Unai Emery’s job of trying to juggle all of his attacking weapons just got that much harder. The Gunners boss ended the campaign with Lacazette and Aubameyang starting up front together, but pre-season has seen more of a return to his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation.
As Jenas suggests, Arsenal simply don’t have the defensive solidity that Liverpool possess, and are far more reliant on their forwards to track back and help out. But if the side’s big-money strikers can gel and adapt to Emery’s new style of play, then there will certainly be a great chance that the Gunners can take advantage of another closely-fought race for the top four.