Arsene Wenger says losing Alexandre Lacazette for up to six weeks is "a massive blow" for Arsenal and that the striker's knee injury could be the reason for his poor form in front of goal.
Lacazette underwent a minor operation on Tuesday and the club said he will be sidelined for four to six weeks, meaning he will miss the upcoming Europa League tie against Ostersund.
"It's a massive blow for us, but we have to find a solution. and nobody could predict that," Wenger told beIN Sports. "But football is as well to [deal] with unpredicted things, and it's always a good opportunity to find somebody who steps in and does well."
Lacazette has recently lost his starting place to new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but had been earmarked for a starring role in the Europa League, where the former Borussia Dortmund striker is cup-tied.
Lacazette, who joined from Lyon last summer in a then-club record £46.5 million deal, has been criticised for only scoring one goal since Dec. 2, and missed a great chance for an equaliser against Tottenham in the North London derby on Saturday.
"He got a surprising swell on the knee after the game against Tottenham, and he needed very quick surgery," Wenger said, adding that the setback has been a big blow for the forward as well.
"Lacazette is down, but I think he recently must have felt something in his knee, I don't know. Maybe as well that's an explanation why he was not scoring as many goals as he's used to."
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.