Mikel Arteta has discussed Alexandre Lacazette’s comments over a potential Arsenal exit and Eddie Nketiah’s frustration with his lack of minutes this season.
Lacazette made headlines this week after admitting he has held talks with ‘a lot of clubs’ over a summer move with the 30-year-old out of contract at the Emirates at the end of the season.
No decision has been made on the Frenchman’s future, though the two parties have agreed to renew talks over a potential extension at the end of the campaign.
Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Chelsea in the Premier League on Wednesday evening, Arteta insisted that Lacazette’s status as an impending free agent allows him to hold discussions over his long-term future.
The Spaniard, however, suggested that he hopes that Lacazette’s full focus is on a strong end to the season with Arsenal.
“His contract situation allows him to make the decision about the future,” he told his pre-match press conference.
“We have expressed clearly what our intention is, to speak in the summer when we know where we are and what we’re going to do in the future together.
“For the rest I just want him fully focused on his duty, which is now defending Arsenal in the best possible way like he’s done all the time when he’s been with us, and that’s why he’s been wearing the armband of this football club.”
Arteta also spoke on Eddie Nketiah’s situation, with the 22-year-old another who will become a free agent in the summer. The forward has been vocal in his frustration over a lack of opportunity and started his first Premier League game of the season at Southampton last weekend.
“He is right to be upset. This is what we want from the players that haven’t had the minutes. Especially Eddie, because if there is a player in the dressing room that deserves more chances, that is for sure Eddie.”