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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he is ‘really happy’ with Alexandre Lacazette, but admits that no talks have taken place over a new contract for the striker.
After struggling to find the back of the net consistently last season, Lacazette has started the new campaign well, scoring in each of the Gunners’ opening two wins.
Eddie Nketiah’s emergence has put real pressure on the Frenchman for the No.9 spot, and with just two years left on his contract, speculation over his long-term future at the club has been building.
Lacazette has been consistently linked with a move to Atletico Madrid, but the 29-year-old admitted earlier this month that he is ‘determined to stay’ at the Emirates.
When asked whether he wants to offer Lacazette an extension on his deal which expires in 2022, Arteta said: ‘He’s a player I’m really happy with. I think we’ve shown him a lot of faith since I arrived here. But we cannot start any speculation.
‘We know that any player who is under two years of their contract is always going to be talked about.
‘At the moment, we haven’t started any negotiations. We have a lot of things still to do in this market and at the moment we are focusing on those things.’
Lacazette opened the scoring for the Gunners against West Ham on Saturday, but after Michail Antonio’s equaliser on the stroke of half time, Nketiah was the man to snatch the win for the Arteta’s side with a late goal, much to the delight of the Spanish boss.
‘That’s exactly what we are looking for,’ Arteta said after the game.
‘He came on really well again, he’s a boy that is challenging everyone in training and he deserves chances. And I love the reaction from his team-mates, from Laca as well, the way he went to celebrate the goal with him, and that’s what they are here for.
‘We faced a really difficult opponent. We knew that before the game, the way they play. I think we made it really difficult for ourselves in the first 15 minutes with the number of simple balls that we gave away. There is no structure in the world that can sustain that.
‘Then after the goal we had much better periods when we were able to sustain and control them better. They cannot run, a transition moment with one minute to go in the first half.
‘In the second half again we had 15, 20 minutes when we struggled, we gave simple balls away, we didn’t have the right organisation. We made some changes and after we improved in the last 20, we managed to score another beautiful goal, and then just man-managed the game for the last five or six minutes.’