Arsene Wenger believes he has an explanation for Alexander Lacazette's struggles since his summer move from Lyon - even if the player wouldn't admit it.
The France international joined Arsenal for a club record fee of £52 million six months ago and arrived with a reputation of a lethal striker.
It was a well-earned reputation, too, as Lacazette hit 100 goals in 203 Ligue 1 games - and 91 over the past four seasons.
It was something that not only Arsenal coveted but Atletico Madrid. The La Liga side got as far as agreeing a move for the Frenchman, only to be thwarted by a transfer ban.
So in stepped the Gunners and Wenger to finally pick up the prolific centre-forward that they've craved since Robin van Persie left for Manchester United in 2012.
Only things haven't quite worked out that way so far.
Lacazette has a rather unspectacular record of eight goals in 22 Premier League games. That, quite plainly, isn't good enough for a side hoping to compete for the top honours and there's a worry around the club that the player may not be the answer they've hoped for.
Wenger, however, feels there's a reason for the slow start.
“[The Premier League] is always a surprise for the players,” said Wenger. “You accelerate and play more and the body needs to get used to it, the mind as well.
"It’s a difficult period, the first year, because the family comes over and it’s a bit less football-orientated.
“But you get used to it and he has played many games until now and I would say that the physical pressure on the strikers here in England has become absolutely massive.”
The Arsenal boss also believes that another costly summer acquisition deserves similar patience.
“It’s normal. Morata, like Lacazette, he fights. But in England you play against teams who are organised and can play physically with 90 minutes intensity. The defenders have become much quicker than before. They are all athletes now at the back.
“What he [Lacazette] has worked on is to cope with the intensity of the challenges.
"In France, if you go down it’s a free-kick. In England, you go down and it’s no free-kick. That is much more difficult for a striker to get used to. This guy is used to scoring 30 goals per year so at the moment, even if he says no, I am sure he is frustrated.”
Arsenal fans will have to hope that Wenger is right on this one. Lacazette represents the immediate future for the Gunners and may find himself heavily relied on next season as Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil find themselves free to move clubs.
Lacazette better get used to things fast.News Now - Sport News