Arsenal have suffered a major blow as they prepare for Thursday’s Europa League clash with Ostersunds FK after striker Alexandre Lacazette was ruled out for up to six weeks following knee surgery.
Lacazette, who has scored nine goals for the Gunners this term following his £46.5m summer move from Lyon, underwent the procedure yesterday and could miss as many as nine matches across all competitions.
It is a particular setback for their two-legged showdown with Swedish minnows Ostersunds FK and any subsequent last-16 ties should they progress as £56m club-record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is unavailable for the Europa League.
Aubameyang is ineligible after Borussia Dortmund dropped into the Europa League from the Champions League, leaving the north Londoners with Danny Welbeck, who has netted just five times this term, as their only recognised frontman for the time being in Europe.
“The minor procedure was a success and he [Lacazette] will now undergo a period of rehabilitation. It is envisaged that he will return to the squad within four to six weeks,” read an Arsenal statement.
Lacazette is set to miss Arsenal’s Carabao Cup final showdown with Manchester City at Wembley on 25 February and their Premier League clash with Pep Guardiola’s runaway leaders a week later.
The 26-year-old is also expected to be sidelined for top-flight matches against Brighton, Watford and Leicester as Arsenal face a fight to claim a place in the Premier League’s top four and a spot in next season’s Champions League.