Mikel Arteta was asked about the future of Alexandre Lacazette as Arsenal prepare for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Burnley, giving the biggest indicator yet on where the Frenchman will end up beyond the summer.
59 goals and 28 assists in 157 appearances is how Alexandre Lacazette‘s Arsenal stats read, bringing him up to a tally of a goal contribution every other game. Brought in to perform a role that he never truly assumed on a hefty price tag, his time in north London will be best remembered for him turning up for the big occasions as much as it will the goal droughts.
Coming into a summer transfer window destined for colossal change, all signs point towards this season being his final with the Gunners.
With speculation rife, and logistics making any possibility of a stay slim at best, Arteta provided a response to the 29-year-old’s future that while indirect, was a clear indication of what is to come.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta drops biggest hint yet on Alexandre Lacazette future in summer transfer window
“He’s got a contract with us,” Arteta told the official Arsenal website. “He played really well the other week. It’s exactly what we demand him to do. I’m really happy with him and the discussions about his contract will happen soon and we will see what happens.”
“I’m hoping that a player under contract will continue with us. Every case is different and we’re going to assess that and we’ll make a decision in relation to that.”
This is a valiant attempt at dancing around the fact that he’s leaving Arsenal in the summer. Arteta has been democratic in praising Lacazette and noting that he’s still contracted to the club for just shy of 18 months, but no mention of next season and hailing him for being a professional despite the situation paints a clear picture.
‘Continue with us’ relates to him playing his heart out until there is movement in the summer. Very clearly so. He’s tried to be subtle, it just hasn’t transpired as such.
Wherever he goes, this is another blotch on the club’s recent contractual dealings. A player of Lacazette’s worth and experience shouldn’t be leaving with 12 months left to run on his deal. It’s a repeated mess for Edu to pick up and deal with, as now it’s simply about accruing as much money for him as possible.