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Mikel Arteta helped Lacazette put Arsenal in the top four… but the striker’s stats are the worst of the Gunners’ career

MIKEL ARTETA is counting on Alexandre Lacazette to get Arsenal into the top four before he signs in the summer.

But the forward shy in front of goal has been told he needs to improve his strike rate if he is to help qualify for the Champions League.

Pressure is mounting on Alexandre Lacazette to find her shooting boots again

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Pressure is mounting on Alexandre Lacazette to find her shooting boots againCredit: Getty

Lacazette, 30 years old, who signed with Arsenal in a £52m deal from Lyon in 2017, he has scored just three goals in the League all season and hasn’t scored since taking the penalty in a 5-0 win over the previous Gifting Day. Norwich.

But with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joining Barcelona and Folarin Balogun on loan to Middlesbrough in the January transfer window, the French striker and goalkeeper Eddie Nketiah are Arsenal’s only remaining central strikers.

And Arteta is praying Lacazette can end his goal drought against top rivals Wolves tonight.

He said: “Laca has a really important role in the team and, like all strikers, we want him to score goals as well as provide assists.

He’s had a number of chances in the past few weeks and was unlucky not to score, so we need him to continue in the positions we asked for.

“As a striker, he knows what is required of him and he has to live up to the expectations.

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“He is doing a lot of things right in attack, in and out of control, and he needs to keep doing that and creating chances for his teammates.

“But I’m sure the ball will go into his net soon.”

Arteta is also planning to tackle Arsenal’s complicated chain of command following the recent incident confusion surrounding the captain’s armband.

Lacazette, who is in the final few months of his contract with Emirates and is free to negotiate with foreign teams, has led the team since Aubameyang fell out of favor two months ago.

But when he was substituted in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Brentford, Granit Xhaka turned down the chance to take over the captaincy which was eventually given to Kieran Tierney.

Arteta The captaincy order is determined and Granit says Kieran is next and I think he’s really proud to wear the armband.

“Currently, the order is Laca and then Rob Holding when he’s playing.”

“I understand that’s confusing so we’re going to have a thorough process in the summer when we don’t have the game and the time to sort it out properly, the way I want to do it.”

The goal of this club is to play in the Champions League every year

Mikel Arteta

Having won away from Wolves two weeks ago, tonight’s win would put Arsenal one point behind fourth-placed Manchester United with two games in hand.

“We know the race for the top four is coming to an end and it will be important to get points while playing at home,” said Arteta.

“The goal of this club is to play in the Champions League every year and compete with the best teams in the world.

“It’s one of the best feelings in the world for a player to challenge themselves against that kind of opposition.

“It’s a competition that gives a different side and a side to this club.”

ARSENAL (possibly): Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Lacazette.

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Mikel Arteta backed him behind No9 out of contract

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Mikel Arteta backed him behind No9 out of contractCredit: Getty

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17750789/arteta-backs-lacazette-arsenal-stats-worst/ Mikel Arteta helped Lacazette put Arsenal in the top four… but the striker’s stats are the worst of the Gunners’ career

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