Paul Merson has warned Arsenal against offering Alexandre Lacazette a new contract this summer as they are being “lazy” if they do.
The striker has been with the Gunners since 2017 as he joined them from French side Lyon. They splashed out around £46m to sign him.
Lacazette has netted 70 goals from 192 appearances for Arsenal across all competitions.
The 30-year-old has only scored three Premier League goals this term and his future is in doubt as he is out of contract in the summer.
Earlier this month, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left Arsenal to join Barcelona. The player fell out with Mikel Arteta in December.
He was being paid around £350,000 per week at Arsenal and they paid a ‘lump sum’ to allow him to join Barcelona.
Merson believes Arsenal need to let Lacazette leave to show that they have “learnt from past mistakes”:
“I think things are really positive for Arsenal at the moment. What they’ve done cannot be seen as anything but good for the club,” Merson said (via Sky Sports).
“Now, if Alexandre Lacazette goes and gets ten goals before the end of the season, they can’t get lazy and just give him a new deal worth £250,000-a-week, thinking it might be his season next season. However, for me, Lacazette has had his time at Arsenal. Whatever he does between now and the end of the season, he’s had his chance at the Emirates Stadium.
“What Arsenal now need to start doing is working on not letting happen what has happened too many times in the past when as an Arsenal fan, you are watching these bright young stars in action, and then all of a sudden you see I the press that they’ve only got a year left on their contracts.
“That cannot happen anymore. They’ve got to keep on topping up players’ contracts. They have good young players, and they need to keep on top of their contracts. They can’t get lazy and have players run down their contracts and eventually leaving on a free.
“Arsenal need to show they have learnt from the mistakes of the past and get these players tied down so that they are playing their best years at Arsenal.
“They have got a good, young squad and if you can add another couple of top-quality signings for next season. I think there are happier times to come for Arsenal. Positive times are around the corner.”