In most of the world’s eyes, Arsenal have always been one or two players short of fielding a title-competing team. In fact, the Gunners have mostly been viewed as a team that has quality players stuck in a team void of tactical understanding and a winning mentality.
Arsenal play good football they say, but once February/March comes around, they fade into the distance. Last season the Gunners finished in their worst position ever under Arsène Wenger. This season, they’re sitting in 6th and things are looking worse than ever. The departure of Alexis Sánchez hasn’t helped, but their recent transfer activity suggests change may be coming.
For the first time in a few seasons, Arsenal are showing real intent in the transfer window. The Gunners have spent the first few weeks of 2018 trying to land one of the world’s top strikers, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang. Two bids down the line and there’s a real possibility that the Gabonese striker could be playing his football at the Emirates this season.
The potential deal has shocked the world, including our very own Alan Shearer. The BBC pundit stated, “he’s 28 years of age, by the sounds of it he hasn’t got a clause in his contract and when you look at the number of clubs that need a goalscorer and the fee being £40-£50m, which in today’s transfer market is relatively cheap for a guy with his goalscoring record. So yeah, I’m pretty surprised he’s picking Arsenal.”
Everyone’s surprised because these calibres of players aren’t usually linked with Arsenal. This signing would be a game changer for the Gunners, it’d put their attack in the upper echelon of football. A front three of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang & Mesut Özil is an attacking line-up that could rival Europe’s elites. It’d possess flair, movement, link-up play and raw pace.
Since arriving at Borussia Dortmund, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang has scored 134 goals in just over 200 appearances. Despite all the transfer talk, this season he’s already scored 13 goals in 16 Bundesliga games. Such a record confirms him as one of the best most prolific strikers in Europe and with the current creativity present at Arsenal, that record would only improve.
If Arsenal can re-enforce the signing of Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang with a centre-back acquisition, there’s an argument to be made that they could have the strongest starting XI in the league. A centre-back in the form of Stefan de Vrij, Abdou Diallo or Jonny Evans could tie together a team that Arsène Wenger has taken years to assemble.
Come February 1st, Arsenal will finally be taken seriously as Premier League contenders. No longer will the North London club viewed as a parody, instead, they’ll once again have players the rest of the world wants.