By Duncan Bech, PA
Arsenal’s trio of out-of-contract-players will be told if they have a future at the Emirates Stadium now that the Premier League season is over.
Decisions have already been made over Eddie Nketiah, Alexandre Lacazette and Mohamed Elneny but boss Mikel Arteta has held off revealing his plans in the hope of avoiding any disruption to the Gunners’ run-in.
Nketiah was on target in Sunday’s 5-1 rout of Everton that rounded off a disappointing end to the campaign which finished with Europa League qualification only, while Elneny and Lacazette were also involved.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) May 23, 2022
“I will speak to the three players and after that we need to move on, but we have clear ideas of what we want to do. It’s been decided, but it’s very difficult to communicate,” Arteta said.
“What they deserve is to have a little bit of what they had against Everton. But to do it earlier, one way or the other, with a situation like that is very, very awkward and it could have affected the team.
“We have to do the right thing in the right moment and sometimes to combine those two is not easy at all. We will try to do the right thing.
“We will do what we think is the best thing for the club to move forward and we will do it with the integrity and honesty that we have always done it.
“Those players know individually their situation and the situation will be communicated face to face the way they deserve.”
Academy product Nketiah produced a strong finish to a season in which he fired 10 goals in 27 appearances and the 22-year-old is coveted by a number of clubs.
“When you see Eddie train the way he trains, he doesn’t even need to play because you know that you have a player there who is going to help you. Look at his numbers with the amount of games that’s he played – it’s terrific,” Arteta said.
Everton were clearly feeling the after-effects of their remarkable comeback victory against Crystal Palace on Thursday as they were swept aside in north London.
With Premier League survival already secured in dramatic circumstances three days earlier, they looked emotionally drained – a condition shared by their manager Frank Lampard.
— Eddie Nketiah 📞 (@EddieNketiah9) May 22, 2022
“I need a break. I need to see the wife and kids a bit more and I really look forward to that,” said Lampard, who replaced Rafael Benitez in January with Everton already mired in a fight against relegation.
“I suppose a manager’s life does continue in certain terms, the phone does stay on. There are things we need to try and work on pretty quickly to look at the squad and how we can improve that.
“Myself and my staff have worked very hard and we certainly got the result that we wanted and that came on Thursday night. Now we have to regain a bit of freshness to go again in July.
“The team will be back at the beginning of July. It’s time away from each other and I think that’s what we need.
“I will be switching on in my head throughout that time, but I won’t be at Finch Farm every day like we have been for the last 100 or so days.”