Premier League • England

Arsenal transfer news: Striker search hits fever pitch as Alexandre Lacazette exit officially confirmed

Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal striker celebrates during the Premier League clash against Wolves

Arsenal have confirmed that Alexandre Lacazette will leave the club at the end of his contract, with the striker expected to rejoin former club Lyon.

The France international was signed by Arsene Wenger in 2017 for a then club-record fee of £46.5million, rising to more than £50m, and scored within 94 seconds of his Gunners debut against Leicester.

Lacazette ended that first season with a respectable 17 goals. He then notched 19 times alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the following campaign.

However, that was as good as it got for the 31-year-old. Indeed, he often struggled to hold down a regular starting spot after that.

Lacazette did have somewhat of a renaissance under Mikel Arteta, who made him captain when Aubameyang left. But the Gunners never really showed any intention of extending his stay and he’ll now walk away for nothing.

Speaking after Arsenal confirmed his exit, Arteta said: “Laca has been a fantastic player for us. He’s been a real leader on and off the pitch and has been a very important influence to our younger players.

“His commitment with us has been exceptional and we wish him and his family success and happiness.”

The player himself sent a fond farewell message, as he now looks for a fresh challenge.

Lacazette ready to start new adventure

Lacazette, who scored a total of 71 goals in 206 games for the club, said: “The club is taking a new direction and we are at the end of my contract as well. Now it is time for me to have a new experience, new adventure.

“For me it was a pleasure to play at a club I dreamed of when I was young.”

With Lacazette on his way, Arsenal are now expected to firm up a new contract for Eddie Nketiah.

The young forward was expected to follow Lacazette’s lead and move on. However, in a complete U-turn he is now expected to commit his future the club.

Arteta is also on the hunt for a new No.9, with Man City frontman Gabriel Jesus favourite for that role.

Indeed, the Brazilian has already hinted when he expects to quit the Etihad, leaving the door open for an Arsenal bid.

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