Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette was treated to a harsh punishment during what could end up being his final pre-match training session with the club.
The former Lyon man joined the Gunners for what was then a club-record £52m fee back in 2017. However, with his contract up at the end of the season, he could end up leaving for nothing.
Lacazette has revealed he has held discussions with potential suitors as he determines his future. The 30-year-old has scored just four league goals this season, and bore the brunt of a punishing training drill from manager Mikel Arteta ahead of the last game of the Premier League season.
“You’re going to compete, and the losing team has to go through this corridor and you’ll get hit,” Arteta said ahead of the drill. His squad was split into two groups, one wearing black and one wearing white, with the team out of possession encouraged to press those with the ball.
Lacazette, who was wearing black, ended up on the losing side. Sure enough, the striker was forced to run the gauntlet as the likes of Mohamed Elneny and Emile Smith Rowe doled out punishment.
The training session also saw the return of Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey after a spell on the sidelines. The Ghanaian international hasn’t played since he was forced off injured during the defeat at Crystal Palace on April 4, and Arteta’s side have struggled in his absence.
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Partey’s injury has played a part in Arsenal losing ground on rivals Tottenham, and two points separate the teams ahead of the final round of fixtures. If Arteta’s team are to claim fourth spot, they will need to beat Everton at the Emirates Stadium and hope Spurs lose at bottom-of-the-table Norwich.
Arsenal could lose both Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah this summer, with both strikers out of contract. They already allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to join Barcelona midway through the season, and have been tipped to dip into the transfer market in search of reinforcements.
Everton and England striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is one of the names linked with a move to north London, after scoring the goal which kept Frank Lampard’s team in the Premier League. However, they have also held talks with representatives of Juventus forward Paulo Dybala with the Argentina international set to leave Juventus at the end of the season.
“It is difficult to find the right words to greet you, there are so many years and so many emotions involved, all together,” Dybala wrote upon confirming his seven-year spell at Juve was ending. “I thought we would be together even more years, but fate puts us on different paths.