Arteta confident Arsenal duo Aubameyang, Lacazette can thrive as pair

The two strikers, both signed under Arsene Wenger, are good friends off the field but after combining well early on in their Arsenal careers, have played together less regularly in recent seasons.

When they have, Aubameyang has often been shunted out onto the left wing, but after impressing as a substitute in last week’s 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace, Lacazette was deployed alongside the club’s captain in a 4-4-2 as the pair excelled in the 3-1 win over Aston Villa last Friday.

“I see very strong links on the pitch because of the relationship they have naturally,” Arteta said. “They have a lot of complicity, I think they enjoy playing together and they are showing that they can play together really well.

“There are certain things that are not negotiable, when you play with two players like that in a team. They have to understand that and if they are willing to do so then I think things can work really well when they play together.”

Lacazette’s form is caveated by the fact that he is out of contract at the end of the season, as is academy graduate Eddie Nketiah, who was on target against Leeds in the Carabao Cup in midweek.

Were both players to depart, Arteta would be left with Aubameyang and young forward Folarin Balogun as the only recognised strikers in his squad, but the Spaniard is relaxed about the situation.

“There’s still a long way to go to have those conversations,” he added. “We see a player in his last year of a contract like it’s a big rush and we’re not going to have anything, but we are still in control of the situation and the player is employed by the club.

“They are happy right now here and we will make all the decisions at the end of the season.”

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