Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta detailed why he’s “happy” to hear speculation surrounding the exit of in-form attacker Alexandre Lacazette.
Lacazette has risen to the occasion in recent weeks as Arsenal’s season reaches make or break point. The Frenchman has bagged three goals in his last four league matches and was handed the captaincy on two of those occasions.
His revival has been timely amid the continued issues with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this term.
Aubameyang has been uncharacteristically shy in front of goal all season. He exacerbated his troubles by turning up late to their North London derby clash with Tottenham in mid-March.
The veteran was dropped for his misdemeanour. As a result, the emphasis was put back on Lacazette to spearhead the attack.
The 29-year-old did not disappoint, but his return to form has not gone unnoticed.
With just two years remaining on his current deal at season’s end and Aubameyang tied down to a long-term contract, clubs have begun to sense an opportunity.
A recent report detailed a three-way tussle to land the Frenchman if he is deemed surplus to requirements this summer.
The exit talk did not stop there. A move for a long-time Liverpool target then emerged, with Lacazette touted as a possible makeweight.
Now, responding to the ongoing speculation, Arteta has explained why he’s happy to see such a vital Gunners cog linked with a departure.
“I’m always happy when people talk about our players and speculate,” said the Spaniard (via the Mirror).
“That means they are doing well and getting attention from other clubs.
“The situation with Laca we will address in the summer. Speak to him, propose the future we want and that’s it.
“Now I just want players focused and only focused on performing and getting the best out of them for the team.”
Arteta explains Lacazette revival
Offering more on how Lacazette has taken his game to the next level in 2021, Arteta added: “He has been in really good form for months now.
“He is sustaining that level, scoring goals and providing the team with something different as well.
“His work rate has been phenomenal and it’s what we want.
“We need those type of players hitting the best level because over the course of the season we have been missing goals, that creativity in the final third.
“We need those players to step in and make the difference for the team.”