Goal-hungry Lacazette aims for top-four finish for Arsenal

Talking Points

For Alexandre Lacazette, the goal is one that can be reached by Arsenal — and that is to find a way to squeeze into the Premier League top four and secure Champions League football for next season.

Unai Emery’s outfit currently sit in fourth spot in the league standings — just a single point behind third-placed Tottenham Hotspur — and they go again on Monday in search of three points when they host Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium.

But attacker Laca, who grabbed one of the goals in a 3-2 friendly win over Al-Nasr in Dubai on Tuesday, recognises that he and his team-mates have a battle on their hands to achieve the position with Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham all vying for the opportunity.

And after the win in Dubai Laca was quizzed on his thoughts on the campaign run-in and said: “It’s going to be difficult of course, but exciting as well. It’s been a good battle all season so we just want to win every single game and finish third or fourth. It will be good for us and our fans.”

Of the trip to Dubai, the former Lyon net-buster, who joined the north London outfit in 2017 after hitting 100 goals for the French side in 203 games, said: “It was a good idea by the club to bring the players available to Dubai. It’s been good weather, it was a good pitch, great facilities. Everyone enjoyed it and we worked well for one week. Now we have to come back to London and stay focused on the Premier League and Europa League.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal youngster Tyreece John-Jules has revealed he is receiving mentoring from Gunners striker Laca. The attacker, aged just 18, came on as a second-half substitute in the win over Al-Nasr and managed to grab the third goal.

John-Jules, who has been on the books of club since he was eight, told the club’s official website that scoring his first senior goal was “an amazing feeling. I’ve been looking forward to this moment all my life, so I’m just happy that it’s actually come off.

“It was a good feeling because all of the hard work I’ve been putting in with the U18s, the U23s, my whole life, and then to finally come here, it’s paid off. I’m proud and I showed the gaffer that he could trust me.”

And commenting on the help given to him from French ace Laca, he said: “He’s been telling me to enjoy the experience to be fair, and he’s a very good mentor to me. He’s always telling me what I’ve done right and always making lots of jokes too. I love it.”

John-Jules is just one of a crop of exciting youngsters coming through the ranks under the stewardship of Emery and he is keen to continue his progress and take any other chances of first-team action should they come his way. He added: “I need to just to stay cool, keep working hard in training and matches, and then go from there. Hopefully I’ll get another chance.”