Arsenal are “desperately” looking to offload their 2018/19 Player of the Season and 2020/21 Top Scorer in Alexander Lacazette.
The Frenchman joined the Gunners in 2017 and has made 170 appearances for them, scoring an impressive 65 goals and assisting a further 28.
He has been one of the better players at the Emirates Stadium in the past few years but The Gunners will naturally look to offload the former Lyon man, who has a single year left on his current deal and will be available on a free next summer.
The centre-forward also turned 30 a few months back, thus he doesn’t look like a fresh piece in the current young Arsenal team. It looks like technical director Edu and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta have made it clear to the striker that he is surplus to requirements for the next season and are exploring ways to possibly recoup most of what they paid for him back then.
The fee that is being quoted is £25 million, which would be an enormous amount, considering his age and the suppressed market conditions due to the ongoing pandemic.
Lacazette has had a good career at Arsenal but might be sold to generate funds
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) April 2, 2021
Transfer expert Ian McGarry said on the Transfer Window Show,
“Alexandre Lacazette is one of the players they are desperate to sell. In doing so they would get a transfer fee. They don’t mind if the fee was obviously less than what they paid for the player.”
The journalist continued,
“Because his contract is so expensive ( £182k per week), they would happily accept a lower fee in order to get him off the wage bill.
And in doing so make room for younger players who Mikel Arteta has identified as the future of Arsenal, rather than the present or the past.”
It is still to be seen whether the Red and White acquire the services of a striker by dipping their toe in the market or they expect Gabriel Martinelli and academy graduate Folarin Balogun to be the ones to replace Alexander Lacazette at the moment.
Martinelli was often seen training as a centre-forward in London Colney and Arteta has already stated that the Brazilian’s long-term career might be at the centre and not on the wings.
While, Balogun is highly regarded across Europe, despite not making a single Premier League appearance for Arsenal. It’s his record at the youth level that has been exceptional, to say the least.
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Balogun has ruled the youth leagues for several years
The American-born English striker has scored a whopping 38 goals in 41 appearances for the team’s U18 side. While also racking up 29 goal involvements in 49 appearances for the club’s reserve squad.
I would be more than happy if the club is satisfied with what they have on their plate. I was hugely inspired by Balogun’s Europa League performances last campaign, where he ended up scoring two goals.
He looks a more rounded striker than Eddie Nketiah and thus I am open to Arsenal letting Nketiah go this summer rather than Balogun.
Martinelli has also shown signs of promise at the centre of the park and has all the qualities to be a very good option to spearhead the Gunners’ team.
However, the more ideal option would be to keep Balogun as a third-choice striker while signing another forward, someone like Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard. Martinelli’s development should continue as a winger for the time being.
It’s easy for me to weigh the options from my sofa but obviously difficult who has the weight of responsibility at London Colney.
Edu and Mikel Arteta must have a proper plan for whatever they end up doing. Any decision which eventually goes wrong can be used as a stick to beat them with so lets hope they know what they are doing.
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