Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the name on everyone’s lips. He’s the man being brought in to replace Alexis Sanchez, and his arrival is a real show of ambition by Arsenal – if the deal doesn’t break down that’s. The deal is close according to reports, with just a fee left to be agreed, and it is my guess that Auba will wear the number seven shirt at his new home.
The previous owner, Alexis Sanchez, is now a Manchester United player, and he has worn it well over the last 18 months. And, he’s not the first to do so. The shirt, unlike Arsenal’s cursed number nine, tends to serve its wearer well, and we thought we’d look at its previous owners:
Alexis Sanchez (2016 – 2018)
Alexis notched an impressive 38 goals in the number seven shirt, after he inherited it from Tomas Rosicky. The move was welcomed at the time, and he talked up his delight at gaining it. Maybe if Arsenal had offered Sanchez a new contract much earlier with the number seven as his new number, he’d still be an Arsenal player today.
Tomas Rosicky (2006 – 2016)
Little Mozart was a true fan’s favourite. He was sublimely talented, he made the game look easy and he loved a goal against Spurs. What more can you ask for? Sadly for Rosicky, injury hampered his career from the day he arrived, and he didn’t make anywhere near as many appearances as he should have. Despite this, he was a joy to watch when he was fit, and his partnership with Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri saw Arsenal produce some of the nest football of the noughties.
Robert Pires (2000 – 2006)
Robert Pires turned down Real Madrid to sign for Arsenal, and his legacy at the club will never be forgotten. In just six years, Pires won two league titles, three FA Cups, Player of the Year in 2002 and was a key figure in the 2004 Invincibles team. In his prime, Pires was one of the best players on the planet, and his 84 goals in 284 games for Arsenal, including five against Spurs, only goes to show what a force he was at the club.
David ‘Rocky’ Rocastle (1985 – 1992)
‘Ohhhh Rocky, Rocky! Rocky, Rocky, Rocky, Rocky Rocastle!‘
The late Rocky Rocastle will forever be adored by the Arsenal faithful, with tales of his dazzling displays passed through the generations. Rocky was part of a great Arsenal team, winning the league in ‘89 and ‘91, the league cup in ’87, and he was named Arsenal’s player of the year in 1986. Like Pires, his legacy will never be forgotten, nor will his undying love for the club, and if Auba is to come anywhere near to Rocky’s legendary status, he will have to deliver big!
Aubameyang will arrive with great pedigree; he’s a genuine world class striker, and arguably one of the five best in the world. His record at Dortmund speaks for itself, and his flamboyant character will hopefully give the Arsenal dressing room a much needed shake up. The number seven comes with pressure, but he has broad enough shoulders to carry the cannon.