Mikel Arteta has been criticised for a decision that “makes no sense” that has led to one pundit claiming he’d quit Arsenal if in the player’s position.
After a rocky start to the campaign, Arteta has helped steady the Gunners’ ship. But while results on the field have improved, matters off it remain firmly up in the air. One player in particular who is facing uncertainty at the Emirates is Alexandre Lacazette.
The 30-year-old is in the final year of his contract in north London. The French forward appears destined to leave with talks over a new contract thus far failing to make a breakthrough. What’s more, a report in September indicated Lacazette has no desire to pen fresh terms anyway.
That’s led to early links with West Ham. David Moyes is searching for options with Michail Antonio his only recognised senior No 9.
Accordingly, Arsenal have begun to weigh up moves for a series of replacements. The latest to be linked was Torino’s Andrea Belotti after the Italian side admitted defeat over proposals for a new contract.
However, if former West Ham and Scotland striker Frank McAvennie had his way, Arsenal would do all in their power to retain Lacazette.
Speaking to online outlet Football Insider, McAvennie insisted Arteta is wrong to “leave a player like that out”. Lacazette has been afforded just 49 minutes of league action this term.
Furthermore, McAvennie claimed if he were in Lacazette’s position, he’d be asking to leave the club given the lack of opportunity.
“You can’t leave a player like that out,” said McAvennie.
“It makes no sense to me. Aubameyang is a cracking player and I get he has to start. But Lacazette is an excellent striker. He knows where the goal is and he can’t be happy about missing out.
“Maybe this is just because there is less rotation this year. There’s no Europe so there are less games.
“Yeah, this makes no sense to me. I would ask to leave if I was him. especially if things don’t change.”
Arsenal seek Lacazette replacement in Russia
Meanwhile, Arsenal are plotting a move for a 26-year-old Champions League-level striker as they plan for Lacazette’s departure, according to reports.
French outlet Onze Mondial provide a report on the striker search. They claim that Arsenal are interested in Zenit St Petersburg’s Sardar Azmoum.
He is an Iranian international with a keen eye for goal. Azmoun managed 19 strikes in 24 matches last season as Zenit lifted the Russian league title.
In total, his record for Zenit stands at an impressive 58 goals in 95 appearances. Onze Mondial write that Azmoun has ‘caught the eye’ of Arsenal scouts recently.
They are not the first Premier League side to be linked with his services. Azmoun revealed last month that he had rejected Tottenham during the summer.