Mikel Arteta explains dropping Alexandre Lacazette before transfer deadline

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has dropped Alexandre Lacazette for this afternoon's visit of Sheffield United.

The Frenchman drops to the bench despite scoring in each of his Premier League appearances this season.

Speculation has been rife that Lacazette would be leaving this summer, with Atletico Madrid keen on his services.

But Arteta insists his selection choices this afternoon are purely because of the Gunners' hectic schedule as of late.

“We need to rotate, it’s been very physically and mentally demanding. I want fresh players, again, it’s a very tricky opponent," the Arsenal boss said before kick-off.

“We struggled against them last year, we have to be at our best again.

“It’s a team that plays with a lot of courage, a lot of determination, high pace and they complicate you with some very simple things.

“They have some very good rotations and overloads, they are able to generate in certain areas. You have to control it, let’s see how it goes.”

Lacazette looks set to stay at Arsenal beyond the summer, despite constant speculation regarding his future.

Speaking earlier in the window, the Frenchman hit out at rumours linking him with a swap deal including Thomas Partey.

"If this is true, no, it does not please me," Lacazette told L’Equipe.

"But what matters is the choice of the coach [Mikel Arteta] and his confidence.

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"He’s the one who makes the team, not the managers upstairs in the offices, and I know I have his confidence.

"I’m at Arsenal, I signed a five-year contract to progress and win titles. I have two years left. I am determined to stay."

Arsenal XI: Leno; Bellerín, David Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney; Ceballos, Elneny, Saka; Willian, Nketiah, Aubameyang.

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