By Noel Whelan

9th Oct, 2021 | 7:00pm

Pundit in awe of Arsenal transfer 'blueprint' after £50m-plus Lacazette replacement report

Noel Whelan has claimed Arsenal are trying to build a new “culture and mentality” in their squad with a core of British players.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the Gunners are trying to bring in players capable of handling the rigours of the Premier League.

As reported by The Sun on Wednesday (October 6th), Arsenal want to replace Alexandre Lacazette with one of English duo Dominic Calvert-Lewin, 24, and Ollie Watkins, 25.

The report suggests the Everton striker could cost Arsenal upwards of £50million.

Watkins cost Aston Villa a reported £28million when he made the switch from Brentford last year.

Both forwards are contracted at their respective clubs until 2025.

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Calvert-Lewin signed a deal worth £75,000-a-week with the Toffees just last year.

Lacazette is out of contract at the Emirates Stadium at the end of this term.

The newspaper also suggests he could be sold in January after failing to start in the league this season.

Whelan insisted he is “not surprised” Arsenal are pursuing more British-based stars after success with Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Ben White and Aaron Ramsdale.

“They’re trying to build a strong core of British players,” he told Football Insider‘s Russell Edge.

“When you look at their midfield now, with the young players they’ve brought through in Saka and Smith-Rowe, then Ben White at the back.

“Now they’re looking to add more British players in attack.

It doesn’t surprise me because the British players they have brought in haven’t let them down.

“You can see the blueprint of what they’re trying to incorporate, a different culture and mentality with players who know the league and can handle the demands of the league.

“You can see where Arteta’s trust is right now, and he will know where he needs to strengthen.”

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