Mikel Arteta discusses Arsenal’s hopes of finishing in the top four

Mikel Arteta has insisted that he is only focused on Arsenal’s next game as the Gunners target a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.

The north London side gave their hopes of Champions League qualification a boost on Sunday thanks to a 3-2 victory at Watford as the north Londoners made it four wins on the spin in the top flight.


The victory lifted Arsenal above Manchester United and into fourth place in the table, with the Gunners also having three games in hand over the Red Devils as things stand.


Arsenal, who have been focusing solely on the league since January, will be aiming to make it five straight wins in the Premier League on Sunday when they host Leicester City at The Emirates.


Arteta, however, is not getting carried away by the club’s position in the table and instead has insisted that his he is simply taking it game by game.

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Asked about how the top-four race is shaping up after Sunday’s win, Arteta said: “To be fair, I don’t like to look at the table a lot because we have games in hand, we’re going to play different fixtures and I know the objective and it’s only one, to try and improve tomorrow on what we’ve done today and go into the next match and that’s it.


“I cannot control results and I cannot predict which matches we are going to win, draw or lose, it’s impossible. If I start to do that I think we’re going to lose focus in what we want to do.”


Striker Alexandre Lacazette has been in top form for the Gunners in recent games and has taken the captain’s armband following the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to FC Barcelona in January.


The France international, who has made four assists in his last five outings for the Gunners, is out of contract in the summer and it remains to be seen whether he will be handed a new deal.

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Lacazette earned praise from his manager after Sunday’s game, but Arteta admitted that he is not yet sure what the future holds for the 30-year-old beyond the summer.


“I think he’s had really good moments in terms of goal-scoring records, probably better than what he’s doing right now, but for what we ask of him and for what I ask of him and the contribution that I need from him, I think he’s doing really, really well,” Arteta said.


Asked if he wants to keep the striker, Arteta replied: “It is the case. I said to you, at the end of the season where we know where we are, we’ll sit down with those three players and between all of us, we’ll decide what we do to move forward.”


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