Arsenal boss Emery plays down concerns after Lacazette limps out of Lyon clash with ankle injury
The France international took a knock to his ankle just five minutes into the friendly, and was replaced by Reiss Nelson after failing to run it off
Unai Emery has attempted to downplay concerns after Alexandre Lacazette limped off just 12 minutes into Arsenal’s Emirates Cup clash with Lyon.
Lacazette took an early blow to his ankle against his former club and attempted to run it off, but was in discomfort as he was replaced by young winger Reiss Nelson.
Lyon went on to win the match 2-1 behind a pair of second-half goals from Moussa Dembele.
With the Gunners’ Premier League opener against Newcastle just two weeks away, manager Emery expressed his belief after the match that there wasn’t much to worry about.
“The doctor said to me he’s going to check tomorrow,” Emery said in his post-game press conference.
“It’s in his ankle. He’s going to be assessed over the next few days – it’s not serious.”
Still, Arsenal fans may be slightly troubled by the sight of Lacazette limping through the mixed zone in a protective boot following the game.
The 28-year-old forward does not have any history of ankle injuries, so Gunners fans should be confident at least that it isn’t a recurring issue.
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He missed six weeks during the 2017-18 season with a knee injury but was close to ever-present for his club last year, registering 19 goals and 13 assists in 49 appearances.
His developing relationship, both on and off the field, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was one of the rare bright spots in a difficult season for Arsenal, and he will be key if they are to improve this time around.
The prospect of a front three with Aubameyang and likely club-record signing Nicolas Pepe is an exciting one for the club, and the thought of losing Lacazette so soon after the Pepe news broke will be concerning for fans.
Emery has two more pre-season games to prepare his squad for the new campaign following the Lyon clash, with matches against Amiens and Barcelona sure to provide contrasting challenges.
Arsenal then start their Premier League campaign on the Sunday of the opening weekend, travelling to face Steve Bruce’s Newcastle in a match always likely to draw memories of the famous 4-4 draw back in February 2011.
Both teams could look significantly different by then with transfer activity expected at both clubs before the deadline on August 9.
Arsenal are still be on the trail for Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney among others, while Newcastle are expected to make signings following a summer of disappointing exits.
Their new record signing Joelinton will be hoping for a less memorable debut than his first outing in a black and white shirt in pre-season.
The Brazilian forward won a penalty – which Miguel Almiron saw saved – before conceding one at the other end to help Preston North End to a 2-1 victory on Saturday.