Lacazette has openly admitted to considering his future at Arsenal beyond the end of the season, claims that Gunners boss Arteta has now hit back at ahead of a crucial few weeks
Lacazette is out of contract at the end of the season and looks increasingly likely to depart the Emirates Stadium in the summer. Since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s exit, Lacazette has become Arteta’s first-choice striker.
But his pitiful goals return this term has created doubts over his suitability for that role beyond the end of the current campaign. With just four Premier League goals to his name so far this term, Lacazette’s future appears to be increasingly up in the air.
That led to the Frenchman giving an interview to French media in which he hinted that his focus was not on Arsenal. Lacazette revealed that he had entered into negotiations with several teams, before his contract with the Gunners has officially finished.
“I am in discussions with a lot of clubs. I want to play in Europe, it’s been a long time since I played in the Champions League, I’m missing it. It’s a little more complicated, nothing is impossible in life, but it’s a little more complicated,” Lacazette told Canal Plus.
That interview has provoked an angry reaction from Arteta, who has insisted that Arsenal will not begin contract negotiations until the summer. And he has also called on the Frenchman to turn his focus back on the Gunners’ push for a top four place.
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“His contract situation allows him to make a decision about his future. We have expressed our intention is to speak in the summer. For the rest, I just want him fully focussed on his duty which is to defend Arsenal in the best possible way,” Arteta said on Tuesday.
Those comments appear to suggest that Arteta is doubling down on his insistence last month that everyone in his squad pulls with the “same purpose”. That purpose is attempting to restore Arsenal to the previous standing at the top of the Premier League and is one that Arteta is desperate to fulfil.
“Everybody is aligned with the same purpose. With the same determination and with the same level of passion to achieve what we want to do. Accepting we are not there, but we want to get to the top very quickly and in order to do that we have to do it together,” he said last month.
“We don’t have any single player or any single member of staff in the organisation that can do it individually, all by themselves so it has to be a collective drive to get that bit extra and one of those main factors, for me, has been the Emirates and our supporters.”
That message is one that Lacazette must heed if he is to feature in the run-in and not be cast out in the same manner as Aubameyang. Arteta’s ruthlessness is well-known and Lacazette appears to be treading a fine line with where his focus currently lies.