Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is reportedly wanted by Man United, Barcelona and Inter Milan, but should Arsenal consider selling their captain in the summer transfer window?
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future at Arsenal is a hot topic at the moment.
The Gabon international has been nothing short of brilliant since joining from Borussia Dortmund for £56m in January 2018 transfer window and his goals have kept the Gunners in contention of a return to the Champions League next season.
But will he be at the Emirates Stadium in the 2020/21 campaign?
That’s the question many Gunners supporters want to be answered – and preferably one that is positive.
Given his contract status, Aubameyang certainly holds all the cards at the moment as the north London outfit could be forced to sell this summer rather than lose him on a free transfer in 2021.
And there’s a number of clubs queuing up for his signature in the summer transfer window.
This week, football.london provided five reasons Aubameyang has to snub interest from the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona to stay at Arsenal.
With that said, the Gunners could have no alternative but to cash in on the club captain and should it come to this, the best and worse case scenarios will have to be weighed up.
Below, we have taken a look at the pros and cons of selling Aubameyang
A chance to rebuild the squad
Arsenal signed Aubameyang for a then club-record £56m in the 2018 January transfer window, and this summer would be the only chance to recoup a large sum of that fee.
If the Gunners were able to pocket in the region of £50m then they could use that money to reinvest in other areas of the squad.
A centre-back and a central midfielder should be priorities with or without Aubameyang and of course a replacement for the Gabon international should he depart.
Sanllehi and Venkatesham live up to their promise
Speaking at a fans’ forum last March, Arsenal Head of Football Raul Sanllehi told supporters that any player who does not renew their contract before they reach the final two years of their deal will be sold.
This stance was later been backed up by managing director Vinai Venkatesham.
“We need to make sure we are really disciplined,” he told the club’s official website. “A good example of that is senior players that aren’t towards the end of their careers, we need to make sure that those players when they’ve got two years left on their contract, we’re making the difficult decisions.
It’s all good saying this, but this summer is the time to back up that promise.
Otherwise, they risk losing Aubameyang for free in the summer of 2021 in a situation Gunners supporters are all too familiar with following sales of some key players down the years.
Fans are hoping for change under this new regime, Sanllehi and Venkatesham can live up to their promise if they follow through on their new contract policy with Aubameyang.
Martinelli, Saka and co develop
Arsenal have several exciting youngsters coming through at the same time, many of which stand to benefit from Aubameyang’s potential departure.
Gabriel Martinelli is the obvious candidate, while Bukayo Saka is naturally a winger and would probably jump at the chance to move further forward having been used at left-back this season.
Then there’s the Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe whose development will benefit from increased game time.
In 2007 when Thierry Henry departed for Barcelona, the likes of Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor, and Nicklas Bendtner got more chances.
Fast forward 13 years and there’s a new batch of Arsenal youngsters hoping to make their mark and some could be thrust into the limelight if Aubameyang does leave.
It would be a huge ask to replace the 30-year-old, but a big pressure situation could be the making of these Arsenal wonderkids and a class of ’20 might just emerge.
Just imagine Aubameyang leaves, who do Arsenal buy? Prolific goalscorers simply don’t grow on trees and some of the world’s best centre-forwards are already at top clubs.
Simply put, Aubameyang is Arsenal’s main source for goals and that has been the case ever since he arrived in the same window which Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud joined Manchester United and Chelsea respectively.
Selling the 30-year-old would leave the Gunners with a massive problem in the short-term – scoring goals consistently.
Alexandre Lacazette isn’t quite at Aubameyang’s level in front of goal, Eddie Nketiah is still learning his trade and with no like-for-like replacement in the transfer market, Arsenal would have to go through a lean period in front of goal for a season at least.
That will harm their chances of trophies and a return to Champions League football unless the squad steps up.
Blow for Arteta
Mikel Arteta hasn’t been Arsenal head coach for a full season yet and he’s already facing a situation that he would have seen Arsene Wenger experience a number of times during his days as a player.
Of course, this is a problem that existed long before the Spaniard was appointed and he’s already confirmed his stance on the Aubameyang situation.
“For me, it is very easy,” said Arteta last month. “I want to keep him under any circumstances.”
“We will see the intentions that we have and his intentions.
“Where we are sitting in the table at that moment. I think it is difficult to predict that context right now.”
To lose Aubameyang would be such a bitter blow for Arteta and one that could set his Arsenal revolution back by 12 months at least.
Dressing room morale
Aubameyang has a massive influence in the Arsenal dressing room. The fact he was voted as one of the captains after just one full season at the club proves he’s a popular figure within the squad.
His friendship with Lacazette is evident on and off the pitch.
The way he’s taken the likes of Martinelli, Saka and several of the club’s youngsters under his wing is further proof that he is one of the leaders within the squad.
He helped Matteo Guendouzi settle following his move to England in 2018 and has done the same for Nicolas Pepe.
It’s these little things which often go unnoticed, but are so important behind the scenes.
That influence could be irreplaceable.