Afternoon all.

The news we all expected has arrived. Our French number 9 is leaving the building. Actually, he’s probably already left. I was chuffed when Arsenal finally signed Alex Lacazette back in 2017. His time at the club hasn’t always been brilliant but seeing as he’s now gone, I’m going to just remember the good bits. There’s been times when his football, along with his attitude, has been crucial for Arsenal, certainly under Mikel Arteta and certainly for the younger players.

It’ll be strange not seeing him on a match day in or around the team. But that’s football isn’t it, they come, they play and then they leave. Speaking to Arsenal Media at the end of the season, Alex Lacazette said it was time for him to have “a new experience and a new adventure.”

I want to keep all the good moments I had in the club, because for me it was just a pleasure to play for a club that, since I was young, I dreamt of. I’m really happy to have played for five years for Arsenal.

He finishes his time here as the 32nd all-time top scorer, and says he is especially proud of winning the club’s Player of the Year award in 2019.

There’s a board at the stadium with all the winners’ names on, and in my first season I told my dad that one day I would be on it. So I’m really proud I made it. I really felt at home at the training ground and the stadium – I used to call it my garden! When I came to Arsenal, I was a bit like a kid with big names, big players, a lot of pressure, and I was not talking so much. Year after year I started to talk more, my English got better, my relationships with people at the club got stronger and with the players as well. So I’m happy for who I am now and where I came from.

Four goals against the Totts, one of which was in the first NLD at the noisy neighbours, will stay in the record books. His final words were to the fans:

I want to say thank you, a big thank you because there was a lot of expectation from me when I signed, the welcome was amazing for me. I felt straight away comfortable to play for the team and during my five years it’s been amazing with the fans in the stadium. Thank you for the song as well, I never talked about it, but it really touched me a lot and, a big thank you for everything. I’ll keep in contact with my team-mates, with the coaches, with the club. I supported Arsenal since I was young, so obviously I’m going to keep supporting them. I know I will come back to the stadium as well.

 

Like we say, ‘Once a Gunner, always a Gunner.’”

Arsenal now need a new number 9 and a new captain.

Martin Odegaard has been leading the team in Laca’s absence over the last few fixtures, but is he your choice of player to inherit the captain’s armband on a permanent basis? I think Thomas Partey would be my first choice out of who we have but in all honesty, I think the team is still missing a player with real captain credentials but that’s just my opinion. Perhaps I’m simply hanging onto the past whilst hoping for another one like Tony Adams or Patrick Vieira. Truth is though, there are very few players around like them anymore, if any.

Anyway, I wish Laca all the very best for his future, Kevin Betsy too, who seems to be on the verge of leaving the under 23’s to become manager of Crawley Town.

Catch up in the comments.