Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is looking forward to the return of striking pair Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette to help remedy the Gunners’ attacking issues.
“That's really good news because we really need them,” Arteta said.
“We know that a big part of what we want to do, as I've mentioned before, is going to be determined in the boxes and these are the two players that have the biggest goal threat in the team.
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They are both so important to us as they are able to put that ball in the net. We need them firing, we need them at their best and the team has to help them to deliver that.
“I think we sometimes get really carried away because of the youth, the quality and the talent and the potential that we have through the squad, but the ones that are going to determine our success and who have to lead our success are the senior players.
“These are the ones who have to drive everybody else and then our young players and our development players, they have to be adding to that.
“The base and the foundation should be giving them that. They have that responsibility and hopefully, when we have all the players back fit and healthy, they will be the drivers of that and the leaders of that."
Youngster Gabriel Martinelli led the line against Thomas Tuchel’s European Champions but struggled to impose himself against a resolute Chelsea back three.
The comparative dominance of Romelu Lukaku at the other end of the pitch only served to compound Arsenal’s struggles at both ends. The Belgian ensured Pablo Mari had a torrid time on his second Chelsea debut.
“Against Chelsea, you saw a team in the second half as well that keeps believing,” Arteta said.
“But, to be fair, they were better than us, and that's football.
“They are, in my opinion, the best team at the moment in Europe at that and we didn't manage again to score.
“We need clean sheets and we need to score goals. Without that we won't be winning enough football matches and that's for me the main area, the two boxes.”
Ben White, £50m summer signing from Brighton, would likely have started had he not also fallen ill to Covid-19.
Arteta will however be able to call upon two other recruits in Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale, with both players available following their arrivals from Real Madrid and Sheffield United respectively.
For Odegaard, it is a permanent move to the club he spent six months on loan at last season, whilst Ramsdale will look to challenge Bernd Leno for a starting spot between the sticks.
“I was really happy (to sign Martin) because at one stage we thought it wouldn’t be possible, Madrid wasn’t very keen on selling the player,” Arteta said.
“Martin always expressed his desire to come, but it wasn’t looking very possible and then the door opened and straight away the club was really supportive.
“I think he makes the rest of the players around him better. His work ethic is phenomenal, the way he goes about his job, his professionalism, his character, he’s a very likeable person.
“With Aaron I spoke to him a few times before he signed and I was really impressed with his personality, his character.
“We need two goalkeepers, two top goalkeepers in this club, it’s always been the case and when I was here we always had two really good goalkeepers with different qualities and different age profiles and they need to compete.”
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01/12/2021 AT 13:21