Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta singles out big talent who makes players around him better

Leeds United v Arsenal: Match in Pictures

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has singled out Alexandre Lacazette as a “big talent” who “makes the players around him better”. Arsenal beat Leeds United 4-1 at Elland Road on Saturday, with Lacazette again captaining the side. The Frenchman did not score but was influential in his role as centre-forward.

Arsenal were unchanged for the fourth consecutive Premier League match.

Gabriel Martinelli scored twice to put the Gunners 2-0 ahead before Bukayo Saka netted a third.

Leeds pulled one back through a Raphinha penalty but Arsenal sealed the win through substitute Emile Smith Rowe.

And despite not getting on the scoresheet, Arteta was full of praise for Lacazette.

The striker is out of contract in the summer and Arteta has seemingly signalled he would like him to stay.

“He is a very unselfish player,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

“He has a big talent – he makes the players around him better.”

Arteta was also hugely impressed with Martinelli but insists he must continue to improve after scoring three goals in the last two matches.

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He said of the Brazilian’s influence: “Huge. That’s why you have to prepare a player.

“You can’t throw in a player when he’s not ready. He has so much still to improve. He’s very humble. His big passion in life is football.”

Arteta was pleased with the overall performance from his side and says they executed the plan well.

“It was a great performance from the lads,” he added.

“They’re the ones who have to execute [the game plan] against a team who are uncomfortable to play against. We’ve had three games in a week, very physical games. I’m very pleased.

“We had some intentions. I think the players understood the game really well.

“We were really effective and in the first half we were really good. I think we deserved these three wins and we’re really pleased.”

Meanwhile, Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa admitted his side’s first-half showing was far from good enough.

“Two different halves,” the Argentine said.

“The second half, we could have won it but the first half we could have lost it by more goals.

“The losses of the ball in our own half and centre of the pitch increases the offensive power of the opponent. To increase the amount of danger we can create, we need to recover the ball when they play out.

“They managed to take the ball off us when we were trying to build and attack and we couldn’t – that’s what explains the difference.”

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