Martin Keown is making a case for Alexandre Lacazette to remain at Arsenal as the Frenchman approaches the end of his time at the Emirates.
Lacazette will be out of a contract at the end of this season and he is unlikely to be given a new deal.
However, Keown believes he has the experience and presence that Arsenal’s dressing room needs.
He said on BT Sport as quoted by Mirror Football: “That know-how and maturity [he brings to Arsenal] in a player with proven quality in a team that is full of developing players. You talk about role models, it is very important that he is there.
“Aubameyang, at the top of the team as well, seems to enjoy having him around and relishing him there.
“He come on against Palace in game where Arsenal were a bit flat – second best really – and he raised the tempo with his build up play, his opportunism from distance. He’s got everything in his game and I’ve heard that the youngsters love having him around.
“He lifted the crowd. Right place at the right time, look what it means to him. I just feel like you need to that drive and maturity in the team.”
Keown has a point in terms of experience and the striker being an important part of Arsenal’s development.
However, we cannot afford to keep a player just because of that, he is a striker and has to score goals.
Lacazette will not agree to remain at Arsenal when he knows he wouldn’t get game time unless he just wants the money.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also very experienced and he alone can help to groom our young attackers, including a replacement for Lacazette.
As we rebuild this team, one wrong step we could take would be keeping older players for experience’s sake. Remember how it backfired with Willian and Mesut Ozil?