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Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ollie Watkins are on Mikel Arteta's radar as the Arsenal boss looks to find a replacement for out-of-favour striker Alexandre Lacazette.
That's according to a report by The Sun, who claim that the Everton and Aston Villa forwards are at the top of The Gunners' shortlist of solutions for when Lacazette departs the club. This is expected to be very soon as the Frenchman is approaching the last year of his contract in North London.
Calvert-Lewin and Watkins are both considered two of the brightest strikers in the Premier League today and exciting options for Gareth Southgate and England. In addition to their talent in front of goal, which saw them score a combined total of 30 in the top flight last season, the pair are also young enough to fit the recruitment model Arteta and technical director Edu are currently following at The Emirates Stadium.
Conversely, Lacazette is yet to truly impress under Arteta and has made just 4 appearances for the club in all competitions so far this season. Additionally, he found the back of the net on fewer occasions than both Calvert-Lewin and Watkins did last season and has consistently struggled with injury problems, meaning an exit from Arsenal is much more likely than a re-introduction in the next few months.
That said, Lacazette's manager has denied these rumours and claimed the former Lyon man is very much part of his plans.
I am sure that he will be instrumental in our success."
Should Lacazette depart, there will be questions as to whether Calvert-Lewin and Watkins are viable options for Arsenal to pursue. Whilst the former signed a bumper new contract at Goodison Park last March, keeping him on Merseyside until at least 2025, the latter is a key part of Aston Villa's attack, with Dean Smith confident he and Danny Ings can form a partnership that can take the club towards European football.
"I have no concerns," Smith replied when asked about the pair following Sunday's loss to Tottenham, as quoted by The Express and Star. "Danny's scored goals already. Ollie got his first on Sunday and we're creating chances.
"The pair worked as hard as anything again. They broke things down when Tottenham had the ball. We're playing against top teams at the moment - Everton, United and Tottenham. We believe we've got good players as well but there are no frustrations."
So whilst it's unlikely that Lacazette will be wearing red for much longer, it's equally implausible to think that Calvert-Lewin or Watkins will be leading Mikel Arteta's line next season.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
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