Emery hails Lacazette but says he can still improve

Video: HaytersTV

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery believes Alexandre Lacazette can only get better after admitting he tried to sign the striker while at Paris St Germain.

The France international has scored 14 goals in his last 24 games for the Gunners, including a brace in a 5-1 win at Fulham before the international break.

Lacazette moved to the Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2017 and is expected to make his 50th appearance for the club when they host Leicester on Monday night.

The 27-year-old joined from Lyon having scored 60 times in his last two campaigns in France – form that attracted the attention of Emery, who was then in charge of rivals PSG.

Emery was working with the likes of Edinson Cavani and Neymar at the Parc des Princes – with Kylian Mbappe also moving to the French capital last year.

But the Arsenal boss, who is enjoying a nine-match winning run, refused to compare the forwards – revealing Lacazette was a target ahead of his move to Arsenal.

© Adam Davy/PA Wire

“They are different players, it is very difficult to compare,” Emery said.

“But for example, when I arrived at PSG we were thinking to sign Lacazette.

“His quality and his characteristics also we liked at PSG. Also, the people who were working there, they said to us, ‘This player has the quality to play for PSG’ when we were there.

“He was at Lyon and it wasn’t easy to have the conversation or to sign a player from Lyon or from PSG for Lyon. He was an option for us.”

Despite being a fan of Lacazette, Emery is calling for further improvement from the forward now he has adapted to English football.

“We are speaking together with Laca,” he added.

“For him, last year, his first year in the Premier League, it was a different league than the French league also and the position also, the rhythm also, not the mentality because he has a very good mentality and he has very good chances usually to score. He is very efficient.

“But he needs to continue his adaptation for us, for the Premier League, for the rhythm. This year we are looking at him one step more in this level.

“We are very happy but my message to him is: ‘Every day, don’t stop’.

“Don’t stop in training, don’t stop in matches, carry on to find his best performance. Not even just in matches but in each minute of the 90 minutes and he is doing that.”