Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Arteta: We accept the risk of parking Lacazette contract talks

Mikel Arteta maintains that Arsenal always understood the risks of parking contract talks with Alex Lacazette until the end of the season but he maintains that it’s well within the rights of the striker to explore interest from other clubs.

In an interview with Canal Plus that aired over Easter, the 30-year-old, who will be a free agent in the summer, revealed that former club Lyon, amongst others, had approached him and that he harbours ambitions of playing Champions League football again.

Having failed to tie down Lacazette on several occasions over the last few years, Arsenal changed tact last summer and made it clear to the player they are happy to play a waiting game until resources and their own needs in the attacking department are more clearly defined.

“His contract situation allows him to make the decision about his future,” said Arteta when asked about Lacazette’s comments.

“We have expressed clearly what our intention is, to speak in the summer once we know where are about what we’re going to do in the future together.

“For the rest, I just want him fully focused on his duty which is now to defend Arsenal in the best possible way, like he’s done all the time he’s been with us. That’s why he’s wearing the armband of this football club, it’s a big reason.

Lacazette inherited the armband in January when close friend Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang departed the club. Given the player became, in the same month, eligible to talk to foreign suitors underlined the respect he commands from the coach and his teammates. It doesn’t look like anything has changed on that front.

“He doesn’t need to tell me what he does in his own life but he has and we discussed that and he’s entitled to do that,” said Arteta. “He has a duty to do his best here.”

He added: “The contracts start and end with the expiry date that you have agreed and on the day that you put the pen down, then there are consequences with that. That’s the reality that he has, the commitment and the duty that he has with the football club.”

Asked about the decision to hold off talking to a player who cost £46 million, the boss continued:

“It’s the agreement that we made with him, it’s our position and the position remains the same, this is what we’re going to do. The risk of that happening is always there in the moment we made that decision. Then it’s up to him, it’s not about us or him, it’s about both parties.

“It’s not about me, it’s about we, as a club and the decisions that we made with individuals, the collective and how we plan things. We made that decision to have a clearer idea of what we want to do in the summer and that’s what we decided.”

Whether a lack of clarity about his future is affecting Lacazette on the pitch is hard to say. The attacker has just six goals to his name this season and looks a shadow of the player he once was. In that respect, it feels like finding an upgrade shouldn’t be too hard.

Obviously, there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to sealing transfers and negotiating new deals. Should Arsenal reach the Champions League, the boss admits it would make life far easier for the club.

“Champions League brings the club much closer to where we want, to play in a competition that has a huge history and relation to our club.

“Secondly, it improves every situation, with the sponsors, financially, the expectations, the capacity to expose our players and expose them into a different dimension of competition.

“This is where we want to be. It’s a game-changer, it puts you there with the best teams in Europe and we definitely want to be there.”

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Honestly don’t see how or what we’re gonna miss about him. Not the goals for sure. For someone who’s been performing like he has this season, he really shouldn’t be talking about champions league in interviews. If he had scored goals, he might’ve played in it with Arsenal

David C

Is Laca for 46 million or Pepe for 72 million our worst signing ever? Both pretty bad use of resources either way…

We need to say thank you and let him leave. Bring in two hungry and fast strikers to replace the outgoings. If Edu can’t upgrade on Nketiah/Laca then he really should be out of a job in the summer.


The more Laca plays, the worse he gets. Yet Pepe is still criminally underused and underrated. How can Arteta expect him to find any form with 5 minutes at the end of games that are gone? Every time he was given a chance and a consistent run in the side he performed and we scored more goals. Motm in the FA cup final? Well Arteta’s response was to directly undercut him with Willian and kill his momentum. An truly awful piece of player management.


I agree on Pepe. I’m baffled why he hasn’t played more? Perhaps some other reason we don’t know about?


Oh dear aha that is so true. The more he plays the worse he gets.. Have you ever know a player like it?
I find it hilarious both of our strikers have spent the last week making eyes at other clubs in the press.. incredible hubris.
Neither has scored in over a month, and they think their too good for us now? Do me favour.,
Don’t let the door hit you fellas.

  1. Pepe’s inflated price tag wasn’t his fault.
  2. Pepe hasn’t been used properly, since the day he signed for the club. Also not his fault.
Bergkamps boots

I’d say we need variety up front, a fast guy no doubt, but also a stand up beast target man for when teams sit back and nullify the pace in the squad. Throw some crosses at a tall guy and he’ll score headers, which will draw defenders out to close down and double team wingers/wing backs and allow more space in the middle.

Kanu Believe It

Denis Suarez and Pal Lydersson surpass those two as absolute shambles of a signing for me, even if I am showing my age with the second one😅


If we don’t get 4th, the club will spend the summer trying and failing to haggle over Ivan Toney (who is a decent player in fairness). I suspect we might look at Auba and Laca differently then.

Also – not that Emery is a genius or anything, but his record since being fired here should give us some pause about decreeing who is and who isn’t of CL quality.


Francis Coquelin finally got to experience knocking Bayern out of the champions league


By my rough calculations we should be saving approx £10m a season on Laka and Nketiah’s wages, if we also sell Pepe (for about say £30m) and add his wages to the equation, that’s probably about £50m there. I think that’s what we’ll need to spend on a 2nd choice striker incl wages. We really need that CL money if we’re to get a top class, 1st choice striker, don’t we!?

Martin R

Why would we sell Pepe and so cheaply? Just wish Arteta would start him more often as he has a great deal to offer.


I like Pepe, but it’s clear he isn’t part of Arteta’s plans, he was never a 70m player and he will also carry big wages with him. Hence my very rough estimation of 30m sell on value.


30 is absolutely top whack. 20 would be my estimation.

Martin R

I would rather keep him as he has a great deal to offer but wouldn’t accept less than £50 million.

Martin Tornberg

” For the rest, I just want him fully focused on his duty which is now to *defend* Arsenal in the best possible way, like he’s done all the time he’s been with us”

That explains everything. He’s a defender, not a striker.

Frog In Ze Room

He has been an integral part of the team performing well this season. The whole team is underperforming currently and only Laca is on the chopping board on this website. His duty is to bring people into play and did it very well for the majority of the season. We have been awful in the last 3 games and he wasn’t in one of them. I still back him up. Class player.

Wazoo Bunda

He is a striker , his duty is to score goals. Benzema is 35, Ronaldo is 37 and they’re still scoring. This dude is 30 but plays like he is 40, slow, poor positioning and doesn’t even get into the box.


He doesn’t get in the box because he’s been instructed to drop back into a ‘shape’ in defense, not because he’s linking play. Benzema wouldn’t tolerate Arteta for five minutes, Auba and Laca are saints by comparison.


Seems like a nice guy. He can definitely be a good player when it clicks however you can’t be a striker and not score for months and not expect criticism

SLC Gooner

His duty, even as a false 9, is both to create and to score. He has been helpful as a creator. Not at all as a scorer.
He looks about as slow as Giroud did, except Giroud offered an aerial and near post threat. And had a better touch. If we didn’t think Giroud was worth keeping, can’t see how we justify Laca.


To be fair, we had to get rid of Giroud to get Auba. I don’t think that was an indictment of Giroud’s quality – we just wanted Auba more. There was a three team tango with us, Dortmund, and Chelsea. Dortmund wouldn’t let Auba leave to join us until they replaced him and if I recall Chelsea sent them Batshuayi so we could get Auba.


We should’ve kept Giroud, never bought Laca. Wenger wasn’t that keen on him and ended up doing the usual Arsenal thing, got an average player for a big price because he was dicking around.


“ the capacity to expose our players and expose them into a different dimension of competition”
If Emery said that he’d be mocked. What a load of words to say F All

A Different George

I agree with what Blogs has written and said on the podcast: Lacazette has done what any player in his situation does. Arsenal have said: “we want to talk when the season is over, which means we might–or might not–offer you a contract at that time. We will decide based on our needs and prospects at that time.”

There’s nothing wrong with him trying to make sure he has other possibilities when that moment arrives.


> The contracts start and end with the expiry date that you have agreed and on the day that you put the pen down, then there are consequences with that. That’s the reality that he has, the commitment and the duty that he has with the football club.

This statement about start date and end date is just silly. Of course Lacazette would be distracted as he tries to secure his future. What else would you expect.


Laca is not the problem, but he’s not the solution either.


Get rid. We need a 15/20 goal a season striker….. Laca isn’t that.


He’s become our Emile Heskey


Or Joelinton.

Man Manny

If Arteta is considering keeping Lacazette beyond this season, he has to go!
That iwould be the height of a lack of ambition and a pointer to the heartache awaiting fans next season.
I can’t stand the sight of a bald headed man spending his entire time on the pitch darting around the right and left full back positions, and sometimes disrupting the flow of the game by intercepting passes not meant for him, all in the guise of dropping back and linking up play.
His time is up at Arsenal.


Enough of the useless hot air over peripheral issues already.

Just pack the guys bags, sell him and get in a decent striker who knows where the back of the fucking net is.

Bergkamps boots

Kinda funny how Lacazette not scoring for a year isn’t such a big deal among the fan base…..but Giroud goes, what, 16 games and he’s the worst player we’ve ever had (despite still being better than Laca in linkup play). Let’s all face reality here, Laca needs to go, he should have gone in the summer as he was actually half decent last season, and we desperately need a striker who can score 20+ goals a season. Age doesn’t matter, get an older player in to push us up the league for a season or two and sign the next… Read more »


I loved Giroud. Was always a threat. He was not fast, but had a decent technique and scoring ability. Laca was a downgrade even in his best days.


a bit off topic, but I still wonder why Torreira is not playing for Arsenal. he’s doing wonders in Serie A. I know, different league but still…


Please do not resign him! We need another, much younger solution up top.


Even contemplating new contracts for Laca and Nketiah is pretty damning. What does Arteta think they can deliver?

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