Alexandre Lacazette was voted Arsenal’s Player of the Year last season. The France international scored 19 goals in all competitions. He also impressed with his link-up and combination play. Arsenal may have missed out on Champions League qualification, but Lacazette did all he could to get them there.
It has been a different story this term. The striker has found the net just six times in 22 appearances.
Lacazette was linked with a move away from Arsenal in the January transfer window. Atletico Madrid were among his reported suitors. He will no doubt be a transfer target for other clubs in the summer too. Mikel Arteta should cash in on his No.9.
Arsenal have endured a difficult campaign up to now. They were dire towards the end of Unai Emery’s tenure. And although performances have improved under Arteta, results have not yet followed. Arsenal may have lost just one of their last eight Premier League encounters. But they have only won one too.
The Frenchman is not among the Premier League players who have missed the most big chances. But that is arguably even more worrying. Lacazette is simply not getting into good enough scoring positions.
One of Arsene Wenger’s major strengths was his ability to sell players at the optimum time. The likes of Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Adebayor enjoyed the best periods of their careers at Arsenal. Wenger maximised the transfer fee his club received. But none of the above trio improved after they left north London behind.
Arteta should take a leaf out of his former manager’s book. Lacazette turns 29 in May. He is under contract until June 2022.
If Arsenal do not sell him this summer, he will have just 18 months remaining on his deal by the time the next transfer window opens. That would give the player control of the situation.
Instead, Arsenal should welcome offers for the striker at the end of this season. Lacazette is not a bad player. He was the Gunners’ best last term, and may well get over his current run of poor form.
Even so, Arsenal should cash in this summer. Under Arteta, they must become more adept at selling players as well as buying them.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.