Mikel Arteta says Arsenal will tackle Alexandre Lacazette’s form future this summer and has suggested their prospects of offering him a new contract will depend on how the team performs by the end of the season.
Lacazette’s displays have been patchy for much of Arteta’s tenure, during which he faced competition for the center-forward spot from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Eddie Nketiah. But he started the last two games, scoring a winning penalty against Tottenham and a dramatic equalizer at West Ham, and Arsenal’s attacking play tends to look more cohesive when the heist skills of the former Lyon striker are deployed at the front. If the Community Shield is reduced, it is tied on 13 goals with Aubameyang, the most famous.
“We’ll tackle the situation with Laca this summer, talk to him and just come up with the future we want and that’s it,” Arteta said of Lacazette, whose deal ends in June 2022. Lacazette is celebrating his 30th birthday years in May and Arsenal, whose participation in Europe next season hangs in the balance, may find their financial leeway limited in the preseason as the pandemic has hit them particularly hard. Roma, Sevilla and Atlético Madrid have been credited with interest in Lacazette.
“It all has to do with where we are, how much we win and where we will play next season,” continued Arteta. “There are no exceptions and we all need to be clear with that, with the context we currently have in our industry. “
Arteta agreed, however, that Lacazette is playing some of the best football of his career at Arsenal. “I think he’s been in great shape for months now,” he said. “He maintains that level, scores goals and gives the team something different as well. His pace of work has been phenomenal and that’s what we want.
“We need these types of players to take it to the next level because over the course of the season we’ve missed goals, that creativity in the final third.
Smiling Arteta avoided the question of Arsenal’s potential interest in Sergio Agüero, whom he coached at Manchester City. “We’ll see what happens with him in the future,” he said, although a move for the 32-year-old, who will be leaving City this summer, seems unlikely.
Arsenal will host Liverpool, two places and four points above them in seventh on Saturday night in a game that seems essential to their hopes of securing Europa League football domestically. They are awaiting the fitness of Bukayo Saka, who missed England’s World Cup qualifiers with a hamstring injury, and Emile Smith Rowe is in doubt after a hip discomfort l ruled out of the Under-21 game against Switzerland on Wednesday.