What happens with Alexandre Lacazette this summer has been a constant narrative throughout the season. His contractual situation at Arsenal is one the club have allowed to be rumbling on in the background, as with one year left their stance is weakened heading into the summer window.
Last summer, Arsenal were offered £30m for Lacazette. A substantial amount of money for someone who never lived up to his £48m acquisition from Lyon in 2017. They should have taken it.
Of course, the Frenchman now sits on 17 goals for the campaign and is the club’s top scorer, so in many ways their decision was vindicate. He remains a big game player. However, en route to building a side for the future and being presented with money that could have been reinvested into a younger alternative, they missed a trick.
Someone who it’s impossible to dislike, merely down to the work ethic he has and his professional attitude around the club, his goal return has nevertheless disappointed. What he brings to the team in another sense is used as a counter argument.
Arsenal plan Alexandre Lacazette transfer u-turn as club prepare new contract offer for French striker in summer transfer window
Coming into this summer all the talk has leaned heavily towards this being his Arsenal swansong. Despite his age, clubs across the continent are still well aware of his talent and as the Gunners embark on a full-scale clear out, a clean slate, of sorts, can be the foundation for a new future.
As per football.london, however, Arsenal are set to offer Lacazette a new one-year contract extension. The 29-year-old is set to mull over his future.
With a significant clear out due that will involve bidding farewell to a number of the vocal figures in the dressing room, one can imagine this offer is done with an eye on maintaining some harmony within the squad, as well as perhaps being unable to secure the replacement they seek. Mikel Arteta has regularly praised Lacazette during this season for how he has adapted to the differing styles of play.
How confident must they be that they can miss out on their final chance to cash in on Lacazette would also indicate funding will arrive from elsewhere. Counter this with The Telegraph, who state it would be ‘highly unlikely’ for Arsenal to offer him another lucrative contract.
Now is the time for change. Wholesale ones. New young blood. It’s about starting afresh and putting sentiment aside. Lacazette has a history of slumps in front of goal that stretch for painful lengths of time. What certainties are there that they won’t occur again as he enters the latter stages of his career? What impact does this have on Folarin Balogun?
The £15-£20m they could get this summer will be halved in 12 months. It’s already been halved from last season. It’s time to move on.