He’s been agitating for a move for quite some time now, but is Arsenal really the right club for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang? Two of DW’s football writers have quite different views on a move that looks likely to happen.Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been left out of Borussia Dortmund’s squad for the second game runningamid speculation he’s on his way to Arsenal. But is it the right move for the 28-year-old? DW takes a look.
Good move for Auba, Janek Speight
Last summer, it appeared Aubameyang would be hot property as Europe’s biggest clubs went shopping to bolster their attacking stocks.
Yet when push came to shove, Aubameyang was ignored.
Now, there are few viable options open for the Gabon international, despite his incredible goalscoring record at Dortmund. Arsenal, despite their faltering reputation in Europe, appear to be the best of those.
If Real Madrid’s woes in front of goal didn’t convince them to finally pounce on January 1, it’s unlikely they’ll ever rekindle interest, while most of the other major players appear more than content with their current options.
Aubameyang is an exciting player, with pace to burn and an incredible goalscoring record – 80 Bundesliga goals in 93 games since he moved from the wing to a permanent centre forward role. He would be an asset for most clubs.
But with the player’s dodgy disciplinary record in recent months, and a perceived poor attitude, Aubameyang can be thankful there’s interest from a big club at all.
He’s not getting any younger and Arsenal may be his last chance to claim not only a big pay packet but to play for a European force.
The only question now is how Aubameyang fits into Arsenal’s plans. They splashed big on centre forward Alexandre Lacazette in the summer and will be reluctant to demote him to the bench in a 4-2-3-1 system.
Aubameyang started his Dortmund career on the wing and would still be comfortable out wide. But would his ego allow him to accept a move out of the limelight so Arsenal can play him in the same starting line-up as Lacazette?
Wenger would certainly hope so, leaving one of his two big-money signings makes no sense.
In any case, Aubameyang would be confident of making the center forward role his own. And competition up front – something Aubameyang hasn’t had for years – could push him to new level.
Bad move for Auba, Matt Pearson
There’s little doubt that, from a player’s perspective at least, the Premier League is a step up from the Bundesliga. There’s more money on offer, greater competition and a greater chance of making an impact in the Champions League.
But Arsene Wenger’s current iteration of Arsenal, the worst side of his 22 years at the helm, are barely a notch up from the club Aubameyang seems so desperate to leave. The Gunners are closer to the relegation spots than they are to runaway leaders Manchester City and remain winless in 2018. By this time next week, after they play Chelsea in the semifinal of the Carabao Cup, they could only have the consolation prize that is the Europa League to play for. Sound familiar?
He’s had his disciplinary issues, though they came after he watched a procession of Dortmund’s other star players depart, but Aubameyang is one of the world’s elite strikers. He’s scored a goal every 115 minutes of his Bundesliga career and one every 150 minutes in the Champions League. That’s a strike rate few can match, and begs the question as to whether England’s sixth best side is really the best he can do.
While it might a financial no-brainer, from a sporting perspective Aubameyang might well be better advised to wait and see what else arises. Assuming his Dortmund bridges aren’t totally burnt.
As well as Arsenal’s performance issues, he’d also likely be competing with the club’s record signing Lacazette, who only joined the London club at the start of the season. Neither the Gabonese striker or the Frenchman appear to be comfortable in any other position than upfront. Are Arsenal really ready to write off €53 million on a slight upgrade? It seems so. But it’s hard to see why they want him and equally difficult to see why he wants them. It reeks of a bad deal.