Should he want to, Alex Lacazette can sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club in just over a month. Given he’s still a regular starter for Mikel Arteta, it’s not ideal. All the same, the Spaniard doesn’t seem particularly concerned.
Many moons ago, the Gunners tried to persuade the Frenchman to sign a new long-term contract but after initial talks stalled, neither party has been particularly eager to revive them. Last summer, when we had the option to recoup some cash for the striker, we opted not to and now we seem resigned to losing him for free or at least leaving a decision until the last moment.
Given the wages he’ll be able to command, his veteran status and his struggles to complete 90 minutes, it seems a more sensible option than chucking cash at him and hoping for a repeat of his stellar 2018/19 season.
Ahead of the Newcastle game, Arteta touched on the Lacazette contract countdown.
“It’s the situation that we have, whether you are concerned or not,” he said.
“Things have happened in the last few seasons for different players, where those possibilities are there.
“Sometimes the club has more control and sometimes the player has some more control. The important thing is that communication is clear, and the intentions of both parties – while they are together – are very clear.”
Giving context to why he’s not concerned, Arteta added: “That’s a position that’s happening more and more in football.
“He is not the only one, we have a few (Mo Elneny, Calum Chambers, Sead Kolasinac, Eddie Nketiah).
“That’s something we have to deal with – with contracts that they were coming from a few years ago – with certain particularities.
“We knew that was the case. I have already spoken with them individually about how we have to handle those situations the best possible way, and that’s it.”
For now, so long as Lacazette keeps working his socks off, it seems he, and the others in a similar situation, will be considered for every match between now and the end of the season.
“The demands don’t change,” he said. “Whether you have a 6 month, or 6 year contract you are still employed at the club. You are here because you are willing to be here, and you have to perform at a ten, and there is nothing different with respects to anybody.”