Official – Arsene Wenger confirms £17m striker will replace Sanchez

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Arsene Wenger has hinted that Lucas Perez could play for Arsenal next season.

There was every expectation that Lucas would leave the club this summer, with a move back to home-town club Deportivo reportedly close.

However, recent comments from Arsene Wenger on the club’s official website suggests that he could yet be staying at Arsenal. Asked if Lucas is likely to feature next season, Wenger responded: “Yes.”

This may suggest that a move back to Spain isn’t as close as first thought. Lucas’ agent confirmed that Arsenal had received a bid of around £8m from Deportivo and that they were now waiting for the Gunners to make a decision.

The relationship between Arsenal and Lucas has deteriorated over the striker’s lack of playing time last season. The Londoners handing his number nine shirt to new signing Alexandre Lacazette without consulting him didn’t help matters.

Should Lucas end up staying at the Emirates, it’s very difficult to see where his first team opportunity will come from. Arsenal have eight players to fit into three positions and giving them all first-team football will be tough, even if the squad is rotated for the cup games.

The likes of Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott would all be ahead of Lucas in the pecking order. At this point, allowing the 29-year-old to leave, even for a significant loss, would seem like the best choice for all involved.

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