Mikel Arteta has hailed the form of Alexandre Lacazette and reiterated that the forward’s future will be decided in the summer.
The 29-year-old has put in some excellent performances of late, including the dramatic late equaliser during the 3-3 draw with West Ham, with many believing he should be starting as the central striker ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
And speaking ahead of Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Liverpool, Arteta was keen to give credit to his in-form forward.
What has been said?
When asked about Lacazette’s run of form since the turn of the year, the Arsenal boss said: “He has been in really good form for months now.
“He is sustaining that level, scoring goals and providing the team with something different as well. His work rate has been phenomenal and it’s what we want.
“We need those type of players hitting the best level because over the course of the season we have been missing goals, that creativity in the final third and we need those players to step in and make the difference for the team.”
What’s the latest on Lacazette’s future?
The France striker will have one year left on his Arsenal contract at the end of the season and has been linked with several clubs in recent weeks.
Long-term admirers Atletico Madrid are believed to be weighing up a summer move, while Sevilla and Roma are also said to be interested.
Arteta is not concerned, however, and says a decision on offering Lacazette a contract extension will be made once the current campaign has come to an end.
“I’m always happy when people talk about our players and speculate,” he said. “That means they are doing well and getting attention from other clubs.
“The situation with Laca we will address in the summer, speak to him, propose the future we want and that’s it.
“Now I just want players focused and only focused on performing and getting the best out of them for the team.”
Will Arsenal’s end to the season be an important factor?
Arteta admits that the next few months will play a big part in determining what the club can and can’t do when it comes to his plans this summer and what money will be made available.
“Everything is related to where we are, how much we win and where we are playing next season. There are no exceptions,” he said.
“We all need to be clear with that and more with the context we have right now in our industry.”