Belfast Telegraph

Lacazette knock a cause for concern for Emery as Ozil and Kolasinac rest

Arsenal 1 Lyon 2

Sprain setback: Injury forced Alexandre Lacazette off early
Sprain setback: Injury forced Alexandre Lacazette off early

By Mark Mann-Bryans

Arsenal will be sweating on the fitness of Alexandre Lacazette after the striker injured his ankle in the Emirates Cup defeat to Lyon.

Head coach Unai Emery already had a headache after deciding not to involve Sead Kolasinac or Mesut Ozil after the pair were left distracted by a failed car-jacking last week.

The Gunners lost 2-1 to Lyon as a Moussa Dembele double cancelled out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's opener.

But it was the sight of Lacazette sporting a protective boot that will have Emery concerned just two weeks away from the start of the Premier League campaign.

"It's in his ankle," Emery said of Lacazette's injury after he was substituted less than 15 minutes into the friendly clash.

"He will probably be assessed over the next few days - but it's not serious.

"We are thinking it's not important, he decided with the doctor and with me that it is better to take no more risk.

"The doctor said to me he is going to check tomorrow but the thinking is that it is not important."

Lacazette told French reporters he had twisted his ankle as he left the Emirates Stadium limping with a protective boot on his right leg.

Emery opted against playing new signings Dani Ceballos and Gabriel Martinelli from the start, both coming on in the second half as the latter scored a scrappy goal only to see it chalked off for handball.

But it was the omission of both Ozil and Kolasinac from the matchday squad which caught the eye.

The club and both players insisted they were fine following an attempted car-jacking - but it is understood Emery spoke to them ahead of the game and decided not to involve them.

"Every player is very important in the team, but also some circumstances give us a decision between the player and us," said Emery.

"It's not a good moment to play because their mind is not now 100%. It's a very personal circumstance and the most important thing now is that they can feel safe, they can feel calm with their family.

"They came this morning but I spoke to them and decided it was best to continue their resting with their families and wait for a few days to hopefully come and start normally with the team."

Meanwhile, it is believed Arsenal are interested in signing Lille winger Nicolas Pepe - with reports in France suggesting a deal could be struck for the Ivory Coast international as early as tomorrow.

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