Arteta: Lacazette still motivated amid uncertain future

Mikel Arteta has lauded Alexandre Lacazette’s recent impact at Arsenal but refused to confirm whether the forward will be offered a new contract amid uncertainty over his future at the Emirates Stadium.

The 30-year-old’s current deal with the Gunners expires in June next year and he is free to speak to overseas clubs in January to negotiate a move on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Lacazette came off the bench to score a dramatic injury-time equaliser against Crystal Palace on Monday, his first Premier League goal of the season, to salvage a 2-2 draw for Mikel Arteta’s side.

Ahead of Arsenal’s game with Aston Villa on Friday night, live on Sky Sports, Lacazette’s manager was eager to praise the Frenchman for his commitment to the club and his “contagious” influence on the team, but stopped short of clarifying whether he will be offered an extension to his current deal.

Friday 22nd October 7:00pm Kick off 8:00pm

Sky Sports Premier League Sky Sports Premier League

Arteta said of Lacazette’s contract: “It’s the situation that we have and we have to accept it.

“I cannot ask anything from the player… and it’s not an individual situation because it has a knock-on effect.

“All of this we have had to deal with in the past and still now, we have to see what the best option is for everybody at the end of the season.

“I had no doubts about that [his motivation] and if I did I would probably have decided to do something different in the summer if the motivation was just his financial future.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s draw with Crystal Palace in the Premier League

“It’s not the case with Laca and he has shown that since I’ve been here every single day and that he remains a really important player for us.

“I think he was able to transmit that energy [against Crystal Palace] and that was contagious for the rest of the team and for the stadium.

“He created a different atmosphere straight away, with his determination and his quality and he tried to change the result straight away and [had] that belief in himself that he could do it.”

Bukayo Saka
Image: Bukayo Saka will be assessed ahead of the visit of Aston Villa

Lacazette, who is into his fifth season at Arsenal following his arrival from Lyon in 2017, is yet to start a Premier League game this season, making just three substitute appearances so far, with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang often preferred as a lone striker.

When asked whether it is impossible that Lacazette will be offered a new contract, Arteta answered: “No. Anything is possible.

“He is our player, and I treat him like any other player, I’m not going to treat him differently because he has a year left or not a year left and that is what he deserves.”

Bukayo Saka is a doubt for the clash with Dean Smith’s Villa after being forced off with an injury after a challenge from James McArthur against Palace.

Arteta explained: “He hasn’t trained yet so we have to assess him today and see how he is.

“It’s down to him and the doctors to see how he is feeling between today and tomorrow.”

More to follow…

Sports