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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,1ST APRIL,2021-Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says Alexandre Lacazette‘s future will be addressed in the summer amid reported interest from a host of top European clubs.
Lacazette’s contract expires in 2022 and Arteta is content for the striker to be attracting admirers as it means he is performing well for the Gunners.
The 29-year-old Frenchman has been linked with Roma, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid.
He is on course for his most prolific top-flight campaign since arriving from Lyon in 2017, having struck 11 times in the league ahead of Saturday’s clash with Liverpool.
“I think he has been really good, in really good form for months now,” said Arteta.
“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 when we want to have the chance to do that because over the course of the season we have been missing goals, that creativity in the final third and we need those players to step in and make the difference for the team.”
Arsenal have attracted criticism in the past for handing lucrative contracts to players in the latter stages of their careers.
Former Gunners midfielder Mesut Ozil, 32, became a peripheral squad member at Emirates Stadium after agreeing a bumper new deal in 2018, while 31-year-old captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struggled to impress earlier this season in the aftermath of his extension.
Asked about the balance between offering big contracts to senior players and having room to bring through youngsters, Arteta replied: “Everything is related to where we are, how much we win and where we are playing next season.
“There are no exceptions and we all need to be clear with that and more with the context we have right now in our industry.”
Arsenal sit ninth in the table, nine points adrift of the top four.
Winning the Europa League looks to be their best chance of securing a Champions League return.
After hosting Jurgen Klopp’s side this weekend, the Gunners face Slavia Prague on Thursday in the first leg of their European quarter-final