Andy Townsend has hailed Alexandre Lacazette’s performance against Crystal Palace as “incredible”, with the Frenchman salvaging a point for Arsenal on Monday evening.
The 30-year-old forward, who has just over eight months remaining on his contract with the Gunners, came on in the 67th minute of the clash at the Emirates Stadium for Martin Odegaard.
Lacazette had a major impact on the match when he was introduced, playing a big role in many of Arsenal’s attacks, before finally levelling the clash in stoppage time, much to the heartbreak of Patrick Vieira.
The Frenchman arrived at the back post to level proceedings and ensure the points were shared in north London – and Townsend has praised the soon-to-be out-of-contract striker for his role in Arsenal’s draw.
Speaking on Premier League Productions, Townsend said: “Give a lot of credit to Lacazette because he has come on and made a difference.
“Arsenal keep the ball alive and when the ball comes to Lacazette, he has still got a bit to do to get it past Guaita and it is a sweet strike. Incredible.”
Mikel Arteta was asked after the match if he can afford to lose Lacazette when he puts in performances like Monday night but the Arsenal boss insisted he is not thinking about the possibility of the former Lyon striker leaving the Emirates Stadium in the near future.
Arteta said: “Well, we have him. He’s our player and he shows real commitment so I’m not thinking about that.
“I’m thinking about how to get the best out of him and tonight he showed a real good moment and how much he cares about the team.”
Questions over Lacazette’s future are not new to Arteta, with the Arsenal boss asked about the topic last month.
He replied: “We have disclosed that internally and we disclosed with him. There is a long season ahead of us – anything can happen, everything is open. He just needs to concentrate on performing and contributing to the team like he always does.
“He is a phenomenal character. He is somebody that is always pushing and has a real interest to help the team. That is not going to change – and after that, we will see what happens.”
Lacazette made just his third appearance of the Premier League season on Monday evening, and netted his first goal of the campaign. He will be hoping to be involved in Friday night’s meeting with Aston Villa.
Source by Football London