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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang-Antoine Griezmann swap defeats object

Barcelona are reportedly interested in swapping Antoine Griezmann for Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The deal, however, defeats the object of selling Aubameyang.

This summer, Arsenal will have a decision to make regarding the future of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The striker has been the club’s best player this season, competing for the Premier League’s golden boot for the second-straight campaign. Even in an underperforming team, Aubameyang has flourished.

However, he has one more year remaining on his contract and has shown little intention of extending it, especially if the Gunners fail to qualify for the Champions League, which is most likely at the stage.

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Aubameyang will turn 31 in the summer. There is already good reason for Arsenal to cash in. Throw in the contract negotiations and a sale seems necessary. The Gunners cannot enter the final year of a star player again. They have played that game before, and they lost every time. Doing it again would only spell trouble.

However, while selling Aubameyang might be the smart move, and it is one that I have advocated ever since last summer, despite it being a largely unpopular opinion, it must be the correct sale with the correct recruitment made in response. Selling for the sake of selling is not making progress.

This week, it was reported that Barcelona are keen to offload Antoine Griezmann. Griezmann has struggled for form since signing last summer and is now allegedly on the block as the Catalan club look to recoup as much value as possible.

Barcelona have also been interested in Aubameyang. They wanted to sign him on loan in January and have been named as a potential suitor in the summer as they look to maximise the final years of Lionel Messi and final a foil and replacement for Luis Suarez. And so, in the report, a potential swap was muted, with money likely changing hands in the process also.

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It would be a terrible idea. While Griezmann is a more natural wide player and might provide Arsenal with greater offensive balance than Aubameyang has, he turned 29 this week. His wages are astronomical and the Gunners will likely have to throw in £30-plus million to complete the swap.

The very point of selling Aubameyang to invest in a younger replacement. If Aubameyang was 27, the entire idea of offloading him makes no sense and signing him to a new contract would be the only positive solution. But Aubameyang will be 31 in the summer and so Arsenal have one last chance to cash in and then reinvest that money in a younger replacement, which Griezmann isn’t.

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Selling Aubameyang is the smartest move for the club to conduct their squad rebuild under Mikel Arteta. But it cannot be done for the sake of it. There must be a plan behind the process. Swapping him for Griezmann would defeat the entire object. It is not a smart move.

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