• The Gunners' record signing is hopeful of striking a partnership with the Chilean.
  • But they will have to be quick - Sanchez's contract expires at the end of the season.

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette says the presence of Alexis Sanchez played a major role in him joining the club – and hopes the Chile international remains in north London beyond this season.

Lacazette, 26, joined the Gunners for a club record fee during the summer transfer window from Lyon and has so far netted four times this term. Sunday's 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion was just the second time this season he has started alongside Sanchez, whose start to the new campaign was delayed after illness and injury hampered his pre-season.

The combination between the two in that win provided Arsenal fans with a glimpse of what the two can contribute together in attack – although they may have to make the most of it while it lasts with Sanchez's contract with the club set to expire at the end of the season.

Lacazette, however, is hopeful the two will have the time to perfect their partnership. The France international told Arsenal Player: "That is also one of the reasons why I wanted to come to Arsenal – to play with players of Alexis' calibre. Just seeing him in training, I like the way he plays and his mental attitude. His approach makes me want to play alongside him – hopefully for many years."

While Wenger has not completely given up home of Sanchez signing a new contract at the Emirates, the Chile international's time at the club looks like it is coming to a close. The forward almost left the club on the final day of the transfer window to reunite with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City only for the £60m deal to fall by the wayside after the Gunners failed to bring in a replacement.

He now seems certain to leave the club on a free transfer at the end of the current season and will be free to talk to foreign clubs as of 1 January, although Wenger insists his star player has reassured him where his priorities lie for what is expected to be his final season in north London.

"He is very focused, [he] works hard," Wenger said. "He told me he is focused on the Premier League and the Europa League and ready to go.

"[He] still looks a bit short physically because he came back late, after that he was injured, but he will be back quickly."

Alexis Sanchez
Lacazette hopes Sanchez will be around for longer than this season. Getty