Brighton v Arsenal: Match in pictures
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Arsenal have received fresh motivation to tie Alexandre Lacazette down to a new contract after reports that youngsters Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka are using his experience to aid their development. The Frenchman is no closer to signing a new deal at the Emirates as January edges closer, so the Gunners do not have any time to waste if they are intent on keeping him around.
Electric duo Smith-Rowe and Saka have reportedly been picking the brains of Arsenal’s more experienced players like Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The attacking duo, who are at the opposite ends of their career to their younger counterparts, have around a decade more experience and have scored goals all over Europe.
Both Saka and Smith-Rowe are playing further forward this season, with the former previously operating as a left-back and the latter rarely making it onto the pitch.
After a torrid start under Mikel Arteta, both now seem to be enjoying their football.
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Smith-Rowe, who scored the winner for England U21s against Andorra U21s on Monday, said: “[Arteta] has spoken to us and given us so much confidence to stay calm.
“We know we’re going to be getting into these positions. Because we’re both young players we’ve got to stay as calm as possible and just focus on the goal really.
“We’ve been practising a lot in training, after training and we get the support from the experienced players in the team as well, they’re always helping us.
“It’s really good at Arsenal, we’re really happy with the help we’re getting.”
Unfortunately for them, that help may not be around for much longer as football.london report that Lacazette has no intention of signing a new deal at the Emirates.
Naturally, things can be done to persuade him otherwise.
Putting more money on the table or assuring him of a more prominent role in the squad are just two things, but the 30-year-old is in the midst of a tough time in north London.
As January draws nearer and Lacazette’s contract ticks along, both parties are running out of time before an interested side could force them into an uncomfortable situation.
By summer 2022 the Gunners could lose him for free, or to prevent that from happening they could be pressured to cash in on him in a few weeks.
A report from La Razon even claims that he could be used as a bargaining chip to lure in Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri.
Of course, if the Frenchman was sent on his way then Arsenal’s youngsters would still have the likes of Aubameyang to learn from, but that leaves only half the guidance.
If transfer chief Edu and Arteta were still somehow on the fence about their wantaway striker, perhaps this could push them over the edge in terms of giving him a reason to stay.
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