Mikel Arteta’s three-word Alexandre Lacazette verdict may hint at £25m Arsenal transfer decision – Football.London

Alexandre Lacazette looks certain to see out the season as an Arsenal player before seeking pastures new.

This development should not catch supporters by surprise as football.londonrevealed last month that the Frenchman was expected to leave the Gunners once his contract expires next June.

Now, it’s no secret that Arsenal were open to selling Lacazette during the summer transfer window.

However, despite interest from Roma and Atletico Madrid, it’s understood that the north London outfit did not receive a formal offer from either club which means the striker will stay put for the next three months at the very least.

Although, the upcoming January transfer window is likely to be a delicate one for the Gunners.

On one hand, it’s the final chance to receive a fee for Lacazette as he will have less than six months remaining on his contract and with a value of £25m on transfermarkt, that would be a welcome boost to Mikel Arteta‘s transfer budget in a dream scenario.

With that said, given Lacazette will be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign teams from January 2022, it means Arsenal are at risk of losing a player they spent £46.5m on four years ago for free.

And judging by what Arteta has said about the Frenchman, it would appear that the latter option is set to become a reality.

The Gunners manager was asked if he was planning his team without Lacazette and his response may be the clearest hint yet that Lacazette’s farewell won’t be taking place until after the season finishes.

“No, he’s fully involved. You gave the reasons why he hasn’t played more minutes,” the Spaniard said in his pre-Burnley press conference. “He will be back to the form that he can achieve. I’m sure that he will be instrumental in our success.”

Alexandre Lacazette's sole Premier League appearance for Arsenal so far this season was as a substitute in the 5-0 loss against Manchester City before the September international break. (Image: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images )
Alexandre Lacazette’s sole Premier League appearance for Arsenal so far this season was as a substitute in the 5-0 loss against Manchester City before the September international break (Image: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images )

Arteta’s verdict that Lacazette “will be instrumental” in any success Arsenal achieve this season might just be the clearest hint yet that any chance of a January exit is unlikely.

One can only assume that for the 30-year-old to help the Gunners meet their targets for the 2021/22 campaign, he will have to stick around past the winter transfer window.

But it remains to be seen if there could be a U-turn from both parties when 2022 rolls around as the striker is facing a battle for game time during the first half of the season.

So far, Lacazette has made two appearances across all competitions, scoring once in the 6-0 thrashing of West Bromwich Albion in the Carabao Cup second round.

A positive Covid-19 test is the reason for his absence from Premier League games against Brentford and Chelsea, and he did make a substitute appearance in the 5-0 loss at the hands of Manchester City.

Yet with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gabriel Martinelli and Folarin Balogun all options to lead the Arsenal attack, Lacazette’s playing time might be significantly reduced especially with no European football this season.

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