Mikel Arteta says it’s not impossible Alexandre Lacazette gets a new Arsenal deal, and he doesn’t doubt the striker’s motivation.
Alexandre Lacazette had a really positive impact on Arsenal’s performance on Monday, even if he could only rescue a draw for Mikel Arteta’s team in the end.
The Gunners seemed to make all of their best chances after Lacazette’s substitution, and he certainly lifted the crowd. The striker brought a lot of energy to a lethargic Arsenal display and celebrated his late equaliser just as emphatically.
In a way, that might have surprised the Arsenal supporters, who have likely spent much of the last few weeks reading about Lacazette’s expiring contract, and where he might end up leaving to.
But Arteta says the centre-forward’s motivation was never questionable.
“I had no doubts about that and if I did I would probably have decided to do something different in the summer if the motivation was just his financial future. It’s not the case with Laca,” Arteta told Thursday’s press conference.
“That’s a strategy that you can use. When you do it you can do it a year before, you can do it during the season or at the end of the season. There are very different ways.
“Every player acts differently and needs a different level of motivation and then a different level of confidence and reassurance that he’s got the trust and belief of the club. Every case is different.”
Lacazette has already scored three goals and assisted one in his 185 minutes on the pitch for Arsenal this season.
Admittedly, three of those goal contributions were against West Brom and AFC Wimbledon, but that’s because the Wimbledon game was his only start of the campaign so far.
To score one Premier League goal in 72 minutes is a good start, so there can be no real complaints about Lacazette’s performances. The only real question is whether he can keep them up if and when he does get starts.
History tells us the 30-year-old doesn’t tend to maintain those same energy levels for 90 minutes. It’s up to him to prove that wrong.
Lacazette may well get a chance to start on Friday, with Bukayo Saka a doubt through injury. If Arteta decides to move Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the left to cover for Saka’s absence, that would open up a spot for Lacazette.