Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta faced the media today ahead of his side’s Premier League clash against Fulham this weekend.
The Spaniard is in high spirits after his side battered Slavia Prague to secure a place in the semi-final of the Europa League last night. Alexandre Lacazette was the star man for the second game in a row, and Arteta is delighted with how good he has been.
The Arsenal boss heaped praise on Laca’s personality and claimed that the striker is on the right path – even though he will soon turn 30 years old.
Arteta said, as per Goal: “In key moments and in big matches, you need players – and senior players who have this experience – to make the difference for you.
“For me, in his style and in his development, even if he’s soon turning 30 years old, he’s on the right path because he’s very willing to learn. He’s doing things in a much better way than before. He really glues the team together and that’s a quality that is not easy for a striker. He’s got it.
“It (his performance last night) shows the personality that Laca has. He missed two big chances in the home game and then you have to see a reaction. That reaction could be with some fear, some doubt or feeling a little bit guilty. Or the other one is to have a strong personality and to react, to say, ‘Now I’m going to put them in the back of the net’.
“He’s done that in two games consecutively, being really, really efficient. Then his momentum continues, the form that he’s in continues and it’s really important for the team.”
Has Arteta just hinted that he wants to give Laca a new contract?
Lacazette will enter the final year of his contract this summer. The fact that he will turn 30 next month is believed by many to be one of the reasons why Arsenal might look to sell him, but Arteta’s comments on his age say otherwise.
The Gunners boss has hailed Laca’s willingness to learn even at this age. He claimed that the Frenchman glues the team together – a quality that is not easy for a striker to have.
Listening to Arteta’s words, you can’t help but think that he wants to give Laca a new contract. That would divide the fan base, but his record in front of goal this season shows that it wouldn’t really be a bad idea, especially if the finances work out.