Alexandre Lacazette defends Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang following patchy form

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
The pair have a good relationship on and off the pitch
The pair have a good relationship on and off the pitch / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette has defended Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, following criticism of the club captain's recent form.

Since signing a big-money contract in the summer, Aubameyang has endured a tough time on the pitch. He has only managed nine goals in 25 Premier League games this season, a significant drop off compared with the 22 he managed in his first two full campaigns at the club.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang is currently out after contracting malaria / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Off-field problems have also plagued the striker. Most recently, he contracted malaria while on international duty, while he missed a portion of the season to deal with a family matter.

However, speaking to Sky Sports (via the Evening Standard), strike partner Lacazette insisted that criticism of his teammate this season has been over the top.

"To listen to the criticism of him is not easy because he has done so much for the club. He saved us last season, he is a great goalscorer. So I think we cannot critic a player like Auba on his recent form," he said.

“I do not think his recent form has been that bad because he really helped the team and scored a lot of goals in the last few games. I think sometimes people are a bit hard with him. But I guess it happens with a great player."

Aubameyang's drop off has been surprising as he ended last season in rampant form, bagging a brace in both the semi-final and final of the FA Cup to help the Gunners win the competition.

He has not been the only senior player to underperform for Arsenal this season either. Big-money signing Nicolas Pepe has manage just five goals in 23 league games, while Thomas Partey has endured a stop-start campaign due to injury.