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'He's got it' - Arteta lauds Lacazette as 'glue' holding Arsenal together

7:54 AM EDT 4/16/21
Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal vs Tottenham Premier League 2020-21
The French striker has not always been an option that the Gunners can rely on, but he has stepped up in style over recent weeks

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta considers Alexandre Lacazette to be the "glue" holding his side together, with the France striker taking on more of a leadership role ahead of his 30th birthday.

The experienced forward, who boasts an impressive record in front of goal, has not always been the most reliable of options for the Gunners across four seasons at Emirates Stadium.

He has, however, taken the captain's armband at times, when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been ruled out, and found the target on six occasions through his last six appearances - with a vital brace recorded last time out in a 4-0 Europa League win over Slavia Prague.

What has been said?

With Lacazette firing the Gunners into the semi-finals of the Europa League, Arteta said of his influence in north London: "In key moments and in big matches, you need players - and senior players who have this experience - to make the difference for you. 

"For me, in his style and in his development, even if he's soon turning 30 years old, he's on the right path because he's very willing to learn. He's doing things in a much better way than before. 

"He really glues the team together and that's a quality that is not easy for a striker. He's got it."

Lacazette's record in 2020-21

The France international, who will turn 30 on May 28, has taken in 38 appearances across all competitions this season and hit 17 goals in total.

That tally leaves him just two efforts short of matching a personal-best return for Arsenal and within touching distance of passing 20 for the first time in England.

A deadly double in a must-win meeting with Slavia has aided that cause, with Lacazette able to push uncharacteristic misses in the first leg of that contest to the back of his mind.

Arteta added: "It shows the personality that Laca has. 

"He missed two big chances in the home game and then you have to see a reaction. That reaction could be with some fear, some doubt or feeling a little bit guilty. 

"Or the other one is to have a strong personality and to react, to say, 'Now I'm going to put them in the back of the net'. 

"He's done that in two games consecutively, being really, really efficient. Then his momentum continues, the form that he's in continues and it's really important for the team."

Arsenal, who sit ninth in the Premier League table with seven games left to take in, will be back in domestic action on Sunday when taking in a derby date with London rivals Fulham.

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