Alexandre Lacazette has begun the season well in terms of goalscoring, netting for the second successive week in last night’s 2-1 win over West Ham.
It was his 50th Arsenal goal, coming after 129 appearances, at the start of his fourth season with the club, and it helped Mikel Arteta’s side take all three points despite a poor performance overall.
The Frenchman’s future is still somewhat up in the air, however. He insisted last week he was happy in North London, and his manager was publicly positive about what he brings to the team, but with less than two years left on his current deal – and at 29 – he is a candidate for departure to bring in much needed transfer funds.
Speaking after the win over the Hammers, Arteta again expressed his pleasure with the player, but left the door open by confirming there is no new deal on offer right now.
“At the moment, we haven’t started any negotiations,” he said.
“We have a lot of things still to do in this market and at the moment we are focusing on those things.
“He’s a player I’m really happy with. I think we’ve shown him a lot of faith since I arrived here, but we cannot start any speculation.
“We know that any player who is under two years of their contract is always going to be talked about.”
Reading between the lines, it sounds like Arsenal are open to offers. The lack of any new contract offer suggests we’re looking to move in a different direction at some point, and if he can generate the right kind of price, chances are we’ll sell.
Eddie Nketiah demonstrated his penalty box prowess too, with a late winner after good work from Bukayo Saka and Dani Ceballos, something Arteta was keen to comment on afterwards.
“It’s so important for him and for the team as well,” he said.
“It’s a clear message for everybody on the bench, that they have a clear mission when they come on.
“Whether it’s one minute or 45 minutes, they come on to help the team and today Eddie was massively important. He did his job really well.”