Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said that he has a clear understanding with Alexandre Lacazette despite the striker’s contract expiring next summer.
The Frenchman was largely out-of-favour during the first two months of the current campaign. He was quite often an unused substitute for the Gunners.
However, he turned his fortunes around after a vital last-gasp equaliser against Crystal Palace in mid-October. He has since been a regular starter up front.
Lacazette has also been the captain in the last two games, and has led by example with a goal and an assist against Southampton and West Ham United.
Speaking in yesterday’s press conference, Arteta was asked whether Lacazette’s future could be influenced by the position of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Spaniard refused to comment on the topic, but emphasised that the striker’s performances are not related to his contract situation, and he remains committed.
He told football.london: “Alex’s performances, involvement and commitment are not related to his contract situation. I discussed in the summer with him what it is and we’re both clear on that.”
Aubameyang has recently been axed from the first-team squad after a disciplinary breach. Arteta has confirmed that he won’t be involved against Leeds United this evening.
There is further speculation that he has been banned from first-team training, and his situation won’t be assessed until he returns from the African Cup of Nations.
Judging by the recent developments, Aubameyang may have played his last game for the Gunners, and it won’t be a surprise if the hierarchy sanction his sale next month.
This could have a direct impact on the future of Lacazette. The Frenchman has been in superb form lately, and Aubameyang’s exit could pave the way for his renewal.
There is plenty of the season left. The 30-year-old could boost his prospects of earning a new deal if he helps the Gunners secure a return to Champions League football.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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