Lacazette, despite his lack of goals, the Arsenal captain has been in excellent form recently, assisting on seven goals in his last ten Premier League appearances. Arsenal has to decide if they will keep the 30 years old or let him go.
It’s no secret that Arsenal’s attacking line will be overhauled this summer.
With at least two attackers expected to arrive to freshen up the Arsenal frontline, Mikel Arteta will be looking for something different.
It’s the next step in the Spaniard’s rebuilding of Arsenal, and it’s possibly the most significant aspect of the project.
With the additions they made last summer, Arteta and technical director Edu established that they can get things right when it comes to identifying and obtaining talent.
The six newcomers have all contributed to the team’s success this season, but Arteta understands the importance of the upcoming transfer window.
“Now is the time for us to step up,” he stated ahead of last weekend’s victory over Watford.
“We’ve been able to get the squad balance in much better form, and now it’s time to enhance the quality,” he says.
Arsenal’s flaws in a number of areas have been corrected during the last two years.
One position, however, has remained unaffected. Since taking over as manager from Unai Emery in December, Arteta has yet to sign a single attacker.
This summer, the focus will shift to finding replacements for Lacazette and Aubameyang, who both left the club lately.
Although Arteta says that the former could still stay at the Emirates, it is assumed that he would leave when his current contract expires.
Even if he signed a new contract, the 30-year-old would be forced to play second fiddle to whoever striker Arsenal signs during the summer transfer window.
But how can one take Lacazette’s place?
Critics may point out that he has only scored three Premier League goals this season, but it does not tell the whole story when it comes to Arteta’s energetic young team.
While the performances of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli, and Martin Odegaard continue to make headlines, Lacazette is proving to be the glue that ties Arsenal’s new Fab Four together.
Since Aubameyang was sent off after the Everton game on December 7, he has taken on more responsibility, and his unselfishness and workrate have allowed Arsenal’s young attackers to flourish around him.
Arsenal has earned 25 Premier League points from a possible 30 since the defeat at Goodison Park, which was Aubameyang’s last outing. No other team has taken more.
Lacazette has created more goals (seven) than any other player in the last ten games, with his two most recent assists coming against Watford on Sunday.
“Laca understands my movement and where I am,” Saka stated after helping Arsenal to a 3-2 victory that put them in contention for the Champions League. “Playing with him is so much fun.”
Since Arteta decided to make Lacazette the focal focus of his forward line, Arsenal have undergone a significant transformation as an offensive force.
Prior to Aubameyang’s final appearance against Everton, the Gunners were averaging just 1.2 goals per game. Since then, they’ve averaged 2.3 goals per game with Lacazette as the key striker.
They also take more shots (17.8 vs. 14.0), have more shots on target (5.7 vs. 4.8), and have more touches in the opposition box (34.4 to 23.1).
They currently have 55.6 percent possession compared to 49.1 percent previously, and they are averaging 2.5 points per game, up from 1.5 previously.
Obviously, there are other things at play, but Lacazette’s ability to hold the ball up and produce for Saka, Martinelli, Smith Rowe, and Odegaard has been a significant influence.
“Laca improves the lives of those around him,” Arteta stated of his skipper. “He has a great understanding of the game, is a very clever player, and his work ethic is incredible.”
It’s critical that whoever joins Arsenal during the summer transfer window has a comparable skill set, so that the Gunners can continue to get the most out of their talented attacking midfielders.
Arsenal admires Real Sociedad attacker Alexander Isak, as well as Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Jonathan David, who is expected to depart Lille this summer, has also piqued their interest.
Arteta is looking for young, mobile strikers who can work well with teammates, and all three meet the bill.
It’s evident that Arsenal’s next No. 9 will have to be capable of more than just scoring goals.
Arteta has access to some of Europe’s greatest young attacking prospects right now. Finding the proper guy to connect them will be crucial if Arsenal is to continue to improve.