‘He’s our player’: Mikel Arteta provides update on £19.8m Arsenal star after Palace draw
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said that Alexandre Lacazette is fully committed to the club following his last-gasp equaliser against Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
The Gunners started brilliantly against the Eagles at the Emirates Stadium last night, opening the scoring through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the eighth minute.
However, the visitors grew into the game as the half went on, and could have scored before the interval. Aaron Ramsdale came up with a sublime diving save towards his left.
In the second half, Palace had the edge over the Gunners in terms of chances and possession. They levelled the scores through Christian Benteke in the 50th minute.
Odsonne Edouard made it 2-1 in the club’s favour in the 73rd minute. Albert Sambi Lokonga was dispossessed by Conor Gallagher, who led a counter-attack from his own half.
It appeared that the Gunners were heading for a defeat, but managed to salvage a draw right at the end with Lacazette popping up with a dramatic 95th-minute equaliser.
The Frenchman was full of energy since he was brought off the bench. He handed the Gunners a lucky point, considering they were second-best in the latter half of the derby.
Speaking after the game, Arteta was delighted with Lacazette’s cameo performance and emphasised that the Frenchman shows real commitment and cares about the team.
He told Arsenal.com: “Well, we have him! He’s our player, and he shows real commitment so I’m not thinking about anything.”
“I’m thinking about how to get the best out of him, and tonight he showed a real big moment and how much he cares about the team.”
Lacazette’s future has been a regular discussion point over the past year. His current deal expires at the end of the season, and it appears he could be leaving on a free transfer.
Arteta previously said that his contract situation would be sorted during the summer, but that has not been the case – which suggests that the striker could be heading for the exit door.
The £19 million-rated star proved his worth to the team with a vital equaliser last night. Arteta is likely to be tempted to start him in Friday night’s encounter against Aston Villa.
After three successive wins, the club’s momentum has been stunted by back-to-back draws. It could be another tricky game against Villa, who did the double over them last term.
Lacazette will be hoping to prove a point with another strong performance to convince the hierarchy that he still has a lot to offer to the north London giants.
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