Arsenal should not bank on their ideal Alexandre Lacazette replacement as fresh transfer interest regarding their target has emerged.
The 30-year-old came off the bench to score his first goal of the Premier League season on Monday, netting a 96th-minute equaliser for the Gunners in their 2-2 draw at home to Crystal Palace.
Lacazette’s strike snatched a point for Mikel Arteta and co after French compatriot Odsonne Edouard had given Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira ‘s side the lead in the second half.
But the forward is set to leave the Emirates next June upon the expiration of his contract, with Swedish starlet Alexander Isak reportedly the Gunners’ ideal replacement.
However, technical director Edu will have his work cut out to convince the 22-year-old to make the move to north London, as Barcelona are reportedly interested in snapping him up from Real Sociedad.
The 6ft 4in striker is said to be the Blaugrana’s No.1 alternative to much-wanted Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.
According to AS, the Barca hierarchy view Isak as a cheaper option to Haaland, whose reported £68million release clause becomes active next summer, with all of Europe’s top clubs on red alert.
Isak shone for Sociedad last season and has, amid injury issues, helped guide them to the top of the La Liga table with victory over Mallorca at Saturday.
Although a different profile of striker to Lacazette, Isak’s 34 goals in 96 games for the Spanish side make him a wanted man himself, impressing for Sweden at the European Championships in the summer.
In 2020, the Arsenal striker spoke to L’Equipe, via Get Football News France, about his future and the almost constant reported interest from Atletico Madrid.
“Each summer, there is Atletico and my name in the same sentence,” Lacazette explained.
“It is a bit annoying sometimes, but other times I learn things, which is funny.
“I learned that I called Antoine [Griezmann] to talk to him about Atletico, for example, by reading about it from someone who seemed to be more aware than me.”
He added: “This sort of thing can be a bit of a pain, but it is part of the job.”
Manager Arteta was asked about the former Lyon man’s future after the draw with Palace, and whether his team could afford to lose him.
The Gunners boss replied: “Well, we have him!
“He’s our player, and he shows real commitment so I’m not thinking about anything.
“I’m thinking about how to get the best out of him, and tonight he showed a real big moment and how much he cares about the team.”
During the run-in last season, Arteta described Lacazette as someone who “glues the team together.”
“In key moments and in big matches, you need players – and senior players who have this experience – to make the difference for you,” said the Spaniard.
“For me, in his style and in his development, even if he’s soon turning 30 years old, he’s on the right path because he’s very willing to learn.
“He’s doing things in a much better way than before.
“He really glues the team together and that’s a quality that is not easy for a striker. He’s got it.”