Arsenal face a problem with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. But should he want to exit no matter what, he might provide the forced the solution the club is looking for.
Arsenal have a problem. He is their top goalscorer, best player, and club captain. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will turn 31 this summer. His contract expires the next summer. Mikel Arteta and the club are embarking on another rebuild, one that Aubameyang will likely not experience peak due to his age.
It is a conundrum, one which does not have an ideal solution, as the Gunners have experienced in the past. But could Aubameyang himself force a solution onto the club?
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Ultimately, if Aubameyang does not want to stay, the club will have no choice but to sell. And given his quality, his stage of life, and the position that the team is at present, you cannot exactly blame him for looking for one final move. That is indeed the perspective of former striker, Ian Wright.
“But if he did [leave], if he was somebody that was tempted away, I’m not sure that people could really fault him at this stage,” Wright told Sporf via The Evening Standard. “It depends totally on whether Aubameyang has the patience to wait for this to kick in but if he didn’t I’m not sure at his age what people could say, he’s somebody that deserves to be playing at a level where he’s able to win things.”
Wright continued to say that he would love to see Aubameyang remain in north London but concluded that fans would have to wish him well.
“Depending on his ambition, his people around him and what they’re saying to him, how much he loves the club – and I know he loves the club immensely – you have to pray that’s going to be enough for him to stay,” he continued. “But I’m not going sit here and say anything other than I wish him all the best with what he does but I pray to God he stays at Arsenal.”
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Wright is correct. Given where Arsenal are at present, if Aubameyang did want to leave, you could hardly blame him. He is a step above every other player in the squad at present, and he deserves much more than what he has been handed throughout his time in north London thus far.
He is still at the peak of his powers, could secure one last major move to a Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain or Barcelona in the hope of finally winning the titles and trophies that his quality deserves. To date, Aubameyang has only won a DFB Pokal and a Coupe de la Ligue in his career. There are much worse players with far more decorated mantlepieces.
In the end, Aubameyang might just want to leave to win. And if he does, Arsenal would have to sell. That, whether they like it or not, would be some form of solution.