Arsenal: Arteta tells Lacazette to focus on pitch
Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette has found his form in recent weeks, netting four premier League goals in his last three games after failing to score in the league since September. His return to form is a welcome one for manager Mikel Arteta, with the Gunners going on a three game winning streak that has coincided with Lacazette’s goalscoring.
However, there remain long-term concerns about Lacazette’s future with the forward’s contract due to expire in 18 months.
According to a report from the Athletic, there has been no immediate talk of an extension and they were willing to let him leave over the summer.
Roma were said to have enquired about Lacazette’s availability but they failed to meet Arsenal’s asking price.
Speaking after his brace in the 4-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, Arteta confirmed that the club would not be making a decision about Lacazette’s future until the summer.
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“We will talk in the summer and make a decision on what is going to happen,” he said. “We haven’t talked about anything relating to his contract.
“I’m delighted with the way he is performing, the goals he is scoring and the form and energy he is in at the moment. He needs to keep doing that.”
At the moment, Lacazette is one of the Gunners’ most important stars, with his seven Premier League goals more than double the amount anyone else has scored.
Arsenal’s other strikers, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Eddie Nketiah, have notched just four goals between them.
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Arsenal’s decision to hold off on contract talks with Lacazette is a risky move which has backfired on them in the past.
Aaron Ramsey, for example, was able to leave and join Juventus on a free transfer two years ago after he entered the final year of his contract without the club securing a renewal.
There was a similar situation with Aubameyang last season, who eventually extended his stay at the Emirates by another three years when there were just nine months left to run on his contract.
Arsenal will need to either extend Lacazette’s contract in the summer or sell him to avoid a situation which could see them lose one of their prize assets for free.
Former Premier League striker Tony Cascarino recently praised Lacazette’s recent form, telling talkSPORT: “He played really well.
“I think he’s been asked to work much harder as a centre-forward. I thought his work ethic against Chelsea was extraordinary, battling for everything, fighting for every ball, bringing his colleagues into play. He did it really well yesterday.
“The rewards for his hard work have been the goals because I think that’s what Arteta wants him to do. Be a much bigger worker.
“We’ve talked about centre-forwards working and, if he does that, Lacazette’s a real handful. He’s your best centre-forward, by a country mile for me.”
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