April 5, 2018 / 5:25 AM / 20 days ago

Soccer: Wenger backs injury-free Lacazette to deliver for Arsenal

(Reuters) - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says the club are about to see the best of Alexandre Lacazette after the French striker returned to full fitness following a nagging knee injury.

Soccer Football - Carabao Cup Semi Final Second Leg - Arsenal vs Chelsea - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - January 24, 2018 Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette walks past manager Arsene Wenger as he is substituted REUTERS/David Klein

The France international had scored once in his last 11 league appearances before an injury layoff but found the net on his return to action in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Stoke City last weekend.

Wenger said Lacazette was troubled for weeks by the injury before he was sidelined.

“I think we are (ready to see the best of Lacazette) because I realise now that he was not himself for a while,” Wenger told reporters on Wednesday. “That explains why his goals dried out...

“It was not traumatic, he was a good player but I think in the last seven, eight games he played he was not completely free with his knee. Unfortunately in our job you need your body and that’s why when you are not 100 percent you cannot play well.”

Lacazette could start in Arsenal’s Europa League quarter-final first leg against CSKA Moscow later on Thursday as the north London club push for their only chance of winning a trophy this season.

Arsenal, who are sixth in the Premier League, host Southampton on Sunday.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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