Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette have the perfect chance to begin a prolific partnership for Arsenal, against Bournemouth on Saturday.
An uncomfortable transfer window and a shabby start to the season have seen the Gunners beaten twice in three games, amidst a backdrop of contract uncertainty.
The Gunners cannot afford their season to crumble any further, so early. Bournemouth have lost all three of their matches so far and their visit to the Emirates surely represents an ideal opportunity for Arsenal to make a statement.
A defeat to Eddie Howe’s men would suggest that Arsenal’s current malaise has genuine roots. One win from five, if Arsenal fail to beat Bournemouth or Chelsea, would be a real concern. Losing to both, for four successive defeats, would be unthinkable.
Ozil’s relaxed demeanour is criticised relentlessly and his final-year contract stand-off sees his commitment frequently questioned, but his numbers continue to stack up. Ozil notched another goal and assist for Germany in midweek against Norway.
Prolific goalscorer Lacazette finally offers assist king Ozil the top-class striker that his creativity has been missing. Lacazette has pace, makes quick decisions and can finish with both feet. His runs should be ideal to latch onto Ozil’s precise passes.
With Alexis Sanchez now staying at the club and back from double international duty too, this weekend should see Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette start together for Arsenal for the first time.
Arsenal’s last two matches have been a write-off after beating Leicester. Now is the time for their campaign to begin for real and to reap the benefits.