Alexandre Lacazette's first Arsenal goal a weight off his shoulders, Arsene Wenger says
Last Updated: 13/07/17 6:39pm
Arsene Wenger was pleased to see Alexandre Lacazette get a weight "off his shoulders" with a goal on his first Arsenal appearance.
The Gunners' club-record signing scored a simple second for his new side as they beat Sydney FC 2-0 in the first of their two-match Australia tour.
Lacazette was introduced during the second half and was lively on and off the ball on his first outing since a deal which could eventually cost Arsenal £52m.
"It is important for him to get that off his shoulders because you expect to score if you are a striker," Wenger said after the game.
"You could see that he was happy but overall what we were looking for was to play at pace and to develop our collective game and for long periods in the game that was quite good for us.
"We had tough opposition because they fought for every ball but at the end of the day their goalkeeper was the man of the match."
Wenger fielded several young players including 17-year-old Reiss Nelson, who made several eye-catching bursts from right wing-back, and central midfielder Joe Willock.
"Since I've been in the game I've understood that you either have that [confidence] at 17 years of age or you don't," said the manager, quoted on the club website.
"Some of the players I've had in my career have turned 18 and it seems natural for them to be on the pitch. They just think 'let's play', and Reiss behaves like that.
"They all did well today, Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock as well had a very strong performance. They are young, just 17 or 18, so that is very promising.
"Pre-season is there for that, for me to understand how close they are. It's the first game, it's a bit early. What they've shown tonight means they have the chance of being very, very close."