Arsene Wenger’s comments this morning regarding Arsenal’s pursuit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will have done little to ease the sense of doubt surrounding the ongoing saga. However, with just 5 days left until the transfer window slams shut, there are plenty of signals suggesting that the Gabonese frontman could be donning the famous red and white come February. Perhaps most telling of an imminent arrival at London Colney, is Dortmund’s ardent pursuit of another front man.Their ongoing talks regarding the availability of Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud with Chelsea and Arsenal respectively, seemed to have somewhat stalled, however BVB remain in the market. The latest striker to be linked with the black and gold is Sevilla’s Wissam Ben Yedder, a reported former target of the Gunners’. I first saw the news on twitter account of Le Grove yesterday afternoon, and many major outlets have swiftly followed suit, and any potential deal appears imminent. In which case, is it time to start dreaming that Aubameyang could soon be an Arsenal player?
Personally, I think that a deal will be struck up. Whether it being our Chief Executive and Scout out in Dortmund, Aubameyang collecting his personal belongings from training, or Henrikh Mkhitaryan announcing it in his welcome video, the evidence is overwhelming. However, a belief that the deal will be done any day now, is likely wishful thinking. Despite this, assuming that the self-proclaimed ‘Batman’ does join, what can the Arsenal faithful expect?
Fundamentally Aubameyang is a scoring machine. One simply doesn’t outscore Lewandowski in a season through any means other than by being one of the world’s finest No. 9’s. But do Arsenal need more goals? After all, Lacazette cost the club in the region of £52million just six months ago. Perhaps not, but Aubameyang isn’t necessarily being acquired to stick the ball into the back of the net. Instead it is the facilitating role, that I believe will see him be an instant success at the Emirates. Standing at nearly 6’2’, no player scored more headed goals in the Bundesliga than the Gabon international last season. This paired with his core strength and exceptional ability to hold up the ball will no doubt bring the best out of his new strike partner; Alex Lacazette, who frankly is in need of some support.
As for the main man himself, Aubameyang will still score goals! His breakout year came playing just ahead of a certain Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and I think this signals an exciting era Arsenal. The quality of attacking football will only improve, and arguably take a massive leap forward compared to the recent ‘Alexis Era’. Mkhi, Ozil and Wilshere stand as three of the most creative players in the league, while Auba and Lacazette will no doubt continue to score at a frightening pace. A team that has previously been criticised for their lack of ruthlessness, will now be one of the highest scoring in the league. Goals will no doubt become a staple!
With Arsenal’s short term attacking future seemingly tied up, this does however beg the age old questions about Arsenal’s defensive frailty. A void remains in Arsenal’s holding midfield position, a commanding centre back is much needed, and a long term replacement for Petr Cech will need addressing. Therefore, I would warn fans not to believe that Aubameyang is the cure to Arsenal’s problems. However, should the board decide to address the issues listed above come summer, and do so with some serious financial backing, then Arsene Wenger’s final year could be one to remember. Arguably the future hasn’t looked brighter in quite a while.