Alexandre Lacazette’s departure from the Emirates seems almost inevitable and the Gunners are already weighing up some potential options as long-term replacements for the French international.
Lacazette’s contract expires this summer and after a string of underwhelming campaigns, Arsenal seem ready to move on from the Frenchman and find a new suitor to partner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
After initially impressing in front of the 60,000 that cramp into the Emirates stadium every week, Lacazette’s form has taken a noticeable dip in recent years.
Lacazette joined Arsenal back in 2017 from Olympique Lyon in the French league where he continuously impressed and announced himself as one of the top talents that Ligue 1 had to offer.
With his contract now set to expire this summer, Arsenal are keen to offload the Frenchman in January to avoid losing their striker for free.
Rumours have started circulating that the Gunners are in the hunt for a new replacement for Lacazette with two established Premier League names veering the top of their shortlist.
- Ollie Watkins – Aston Villa:
One of the earliest reports from Arsenal’s projected January transfer business is their interest in Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins.
Watkins signed in a £30million move from Brentford last summer and, in his debut campaign at English football’s topflight, netted a respectable 14 goals in 37 league games.
After his impressive inaugural Premier League season, Watkins was called up to England’s provisional Euro 2021 squad and has since been included profusely in Gareth Southgate’s line-up’s while on international duty.
Watkins originally established himself as an energetic young talent in the lower leagues with the likes of Brentford and Exeter, with many viewing the youngster as a speedy talisman with an imposing eye for goal.
With the subsequent summer arrival of Danny Ings, following on from Jack Grealish’s £100million summer departure, Watkins has been in-and-out of the Villa team but has still proven to be one of the brightest talents that Villa has to offer.
At just 25 years of age, Watkins is still in the youthful aspects of his career and remains a viable option that Mikel Arteta could look to welcome in January.
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin – Everton:
Much like Watkins, Calvert-Lewin established himself as a promising young talent in the lower leagues of English football with the likes of Sheffield United and Northampton Town.
After moving to Everton in 2016, Calvert-Lewin has quickly become one of the league’s most dangerous strikers and a dependable replacement for Romelu Lukaku in the prestigious Royal Blue of the Toffees.
Lewin initially struggled to settle in at Goodison Park, but after Everton legend Duncan Ferguson took charge as interim manager back in 2019, the towering number nine has been unstoppable and has been a regular fixture in the scoring columns.
Finishing as Everton’s leading scoring in each of the last two seasons, Calvert-Lewin has since been called up to the England squad for Euro 2021 and has continued to impress under new manager Rafa Benitez.
Calvert-Lewin has started the new season strongly but has missed the last few games for Everton after suffering a broken toe yet will most likely make a return after the international break.
According to reports, Arsenal are tracking Calvert-Lewin as a potential option to replace Lacazette but will likely be met with stiff resistance from Everton who remain unwilling to sell their number nine after a strong start to the 2021/22 season.
Everton will likely remain a strong rival to Arsenal as a potential suitor to challenge the Gunners for a place in Europe next year, and with Calvert-Lewin being a major catalyst in Everton’s attack, the Toffee’s will most likely be demanding an immense figure to sell their towering talisman.
- A rejuvenating month for Arsenal:
Arsenal’s 2021/22 season could not have gotten off to a worse start after embarrassing defeats to the likes of newly promoted Brentford, Chelsea and league champions Manchester City.
Their 5-0 hampering at the Etihad left many to question Arteta’s position as manager with the Gunners rooted to the relegation zone after just three games.
However, following on from the international break in September, Arsenal have remained undefeated with crunch wins over Norwich and Burnley before a phenomenal 3-1 home display against bitter rivals Spurs that saw Arteta named Manager of the Month.
After a frustrating goalless draw at the Amex, Arsenal now face consecutive home games against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa before they travel to take on a challenging Leicester City side.
Fans will have a wide assortment of odds available from the betting market on bookmakers, especially for the Gunners next upcoming games which are sure to be enticing encounters.
For any fans who are also interested in placing bets on any potential transfers in the looming January transfer window, this is also provided on the site for the likely incomings or outgoings that are expected for the Gunners in January.
Arsenal were the biggest spenders in the summer window this season, but with the Lacazette situation still unresolved, they could certainly be in the market for a new marksman in January.
Lacazette is still yet to sign an extension with Arsenal and after his recent inconsistent run of form, both in the league and in prior domestic/European games, and it seems unlikely that Arsenal will want to offer the French international a hefty extension.
With Aubameyang back in the scoring column and the further development of young stars such as Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, Arsenal will be keen to add some much-needed firepower alongside their offensive starlets and it seems Calvert-Lewin and Watkins are the preferred options.