Alexandre Lacazette has admitted that he held talks with Arsenal a few years ago, and now that he’s finally joined the club they’re adamant that they want to keep him.

Speaking over the international break, Lacazette explained that he knew he had to move on from Lyon and take the next step in his career. Arsenal came along and spoke to him about a transfer a few years ago, but it never went through. When they eventually returned in 2017, he wasted no time accepting the offer and moving to North London.

“I needed the next step,” he said. “A few years ago I talked with Arsenal but it was not a good time. When they came (back) I was so happy and the discussion with Arsenal and the club was so quick, and with me it was so quick.”

A year and a half later, Lacazette believes that he’s adjusted to his new club and to the Premier League. The striker feels that Arsenal have faith in him as well, after guaranteeing they wanted to keep him in the summer.

“I’m happy because I know now the league, I know my players, my teammates,” he said. “The club is happy because this summer they didn’t want to sell me; they told me ‘we are happy to have you in the team’.”

The decision to keep Lacazette and continue giving him matches has worked very well so far. The striker has six goals and four assists this season, despite only making nine starts for the club. According to WhoScored‘s statistical analysis, no Arsenal player is performing better than the Frenchman.

In the big games, Lacazette is still having a major impact, scoring against Liverpool recently. That makes it three goals and two assists against big six opposition, from six starts, plus his three goals in four games in last season’s Europa League quarter and semi-final.

If he keeps up this form he’ll remain the first name on the teamsheet.