In pictures: Liverpool v Arsenal
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Arsenal fans must not get too down following their 4-0 defeat at Liverpool on Saturday. Yes, it is another heavy defeat at Anfield in the Premier League and the Gunners’ winless run at the home of the Merseysiders will extend to 10 years. But Arsenal are a young, developing side and there is plenty to be positive about.
Gone are players such as Shkodran Mustafi, Mesut Ozil and Willian.
They have been replaced by a youthful group of stars who are going to have results like they did on Saturday.
If in three or four years time Arsenal are still losing heavily away at the teams they want to call their rivals, then questions should be asked.
But time must be given for them to learn and improve under Mikel Arteta’s tutelage.
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Arsenal are still a long way behind the likes of Liverpool and current Premier League leaders Chelsea.
But all six summer signings have had positive starts to life at the Emirates, which shows they are heading in the right direction on the recruitment side of things.
However, what the defeat on Saturday did show was that perhaps a couple of the more experienced players need replacing.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have started the last four league matches together.
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Aubameyang has played centrally, with Lacazette dropping deeper into almost a No 10 position.
Though Aubameyang has had a better start to the season than he did last year in terms of his goal return, the Gabon star still has not been able to reach the level which led Arsenal to FA Cup glory 15 months ago.
There are just over 18 months remaining on his contract and it is hard to see him being offered a new deal as he turns 34 that summer.
He is no longer the talismanic figure that Premier League defenders fear.
He was off it against Liverpool when Arsenal needed their captain to stand up and put in a strong display.
Meanwhile, Lacazette’s future looks a lot clearer. The Frenchman’s contract expires at the end of the season and Arteta says discussions will not be held until then.
Arsenal fans generally like Lacazette. He puts everything in for the cause.
Unlike Aubameyang, there is more to Lacazette’s game than just goals.
He has rightly been picked ahead of Martin Odegaard in recent weeks.
But it is looking increasingly likely that he will not be an Arsenal player next season.
Arteta has probably come round to the idea that he has to replace Lacazette.
But in fact both of his experienced strikers may need replacing.
Arsenal are not scoring enough goals and despite several areas of the pitch looking stronger, the next piece in the jigsaw for Arteta is up front.
The Gunners won’t be able to reach the next level until that is sorted.
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