There has been much discussion amongst Arsenal fans lately over whether Mikel Arteta should be persuading Alex Lacazette to sign a new contract extension or not, considering that he will be 31 years of age at the end of the season.
Although Laca was rarely used by Arteta in the recent unbeaten run of matches, we have seen him galvanise the side when brought on for the last 20 minutes against Brighton and Crystal Palace. Those performances persuaded Arteta to give Laca a starting spot against Villa for the first time since we were demolished by Man City.
Again, the Frenchman was influential and was many pundits Man Of The Match, but he couldn’t play the whole 90 minutes. As Arteta explained after the game: “Laca was fatigue. He hasn’t played that many minutes. He worked so hard and at some stage he just said ‘I’ve had enough’ and he was cramping.”
We are surely not surprised, as even back in Wenger’s day Laca rarely played a whole game, and this season, the only time he finished 90 mins was against lowly Wimbledon in the League Cup, so I not suggesting anything radical really.
I personally just think we should we should keep him and use him sparingly, and it seems I’m not the only one. As Paul Merson said in his Daily Star Sport column, Merson said: “Arsenal need to keep hold of Alexandre Lacazette – but only as a supersub.
“It must drive Mikel Arteta up the wall because he comes on the other night against Crystal Palace and you think how is he not playing.
“He’s intelligent, he’s sharp, he’s lively. He gets involved. He’s not just a goalscorer he gets involved in the build-up.
“Arsenal fans must wonder why he’s not in the team. But the problem is he doesn’t do that when he starts. He wants to do the basics.
“Arteta will pulling his hair out, one hundred per cent. If you’re not playing, you’d like to think Lacazette would want to move on and get more minutes.
“But I look at it and I think that if he can come off the bench and do that on a consistent basis, you can’t let him go, because it’s priceless.
“If he can accept being a sub and coming on to change a game, I think Arsenal have got a fantastic player again.
“He can give them something off the bench and Arteta needs that. They’re struggling. If I’m the manager I’m keeping him.”
I am sure that at his age, he will accept being on the bench as back up to younger faster strikers, and we know he can influence the game when he comes on. For me it’s a Win-Win situation…
What do you think?