4 players who could replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Arsenal
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's contract situation at Arsenal still seems unclear and they could be forced to sell him.
- Here is a look at 4 players Arsenal should target to replace the Gabon international.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been nothing short of exceptional since joining Arsenal and given the Gunner's current predicament, Aubameyang's goals are keeping this team alive and kicking. The Gabon international has scored 61 times and assisted 13 goals in 97 appearances so far with his last goal coming in Arsenal's 2-1 loss to Olympiacos.
Now, however, with the outbreak of the coronavirus, the current season seems to be put on hold indefinitely. With no certainty of when it will resume, Arsenal fans could have seen the last of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. There have been a lot of reports about the striker's contract situation this season and with the way things are going right now, it looks very likely that Arsenal might have to sell him this summer.
Aubameyang will turn 31 this June and this contract that he signs will mostly be his last big-money contract and his last chance to sign for a big club. With Arsenal under a rebuilding project at the moment and the very high possibility of no Champions League football, Aubameyang will want to end his career with a team challenging with the best. All that along with the fact that he might ask for a huge pay raise might force Arsenal to sell him this summer.
Here is a look at 4 players Arsenal should target to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang:
#1 Jonathan David (Gent)
Jonathan David came into the spotlight this season after the 20-year old Canadian notched up 23 goals and 10 assists from 40 appearances for Gent. Overall, David has scored 37 goals and assisted 15 since moving to Gent in 2018. The Canadian has scored the most goals for his country in a single year, was the top scorer at the 2019 Gold Cup and is the current top scorer in the Belgian top-flight.
He along with Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies have made their mark on the European stage this season and because of them, fans believe the future of Canadian football is in good hands.
At just 20, David still has a long way to go and for someone who is still learning the trade of the game, moving to a club like Arsenal who is rebuilding with a young manager and a host of young players might just be the next step in his career.
David is naturally an attacking midfielder but he can play anywhere across the front line and this is why he would be a perfect replacement for Aubameyang. Arsenal have suffered at times because they were forced to play Aubameyang out of position but with David's versatility, that should not be a problem.
Though his transfer fee should not be much of a problem for Arsenal, they need to act fast as more and more clubs are showing an interest in him. With Manchester United, Everton, Liverpool, and Tottenham all showing interest, Arsenal know they'll have to step up if they want to sign him.
#2 Odsonne Edouard (Celtic)
Odsonne Edouard's rise to the top of Scottish football was gradual but it's fair to say that after three years, the Frenchman has now established himself as one of the best. The forward has made a total of 45 appearances for Celtic this season. He has notched up 27 goals and 19 assists taking his overall tally to 60 goals and 31 assists in 126 appearances for The Hoops.
Edouard is widely regarded as the man to eventually take over from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang once he leaves Arsenal but their finances play a huge role in his possible arrival to the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal's current situation means they will have to sell a few players or one top player and also qualify for the Champions League to finance this move.
The Frenchman is Celtic's most prized player and after playing hardball for Kieran Tierney, signing Edouard is not going to be easy and more importantly, he will not be cheap.
#3 Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Diogo Jota has been an instrumental player in helping Wolverhampton Wanderers get to where they are right now. From winning the Championship and helping Wolves get back to the Premier League in his first season to finishing 7th in their debut season back in the top-flight. Jota has undoubtedly been one of the Wolves' best players and his progress has been evident with each passing season.
The Portuguese has scored 15 goals and 6 assists in all competitions so far this season and if not for the outbreak of coronavirus he could have had a lot more. Jota is a left-winger by trait and this is exactly why he would be perfect for Arsenal. The Gunners have not had a traditional left-winger since forever and they have had to make do with makeshift players in that position.
Despite being a winger, Jota is known for his goal-scoring and his dribbling, his ability to create chances but more importantly it's his natural ability as a winger which Arsenal needs. The Gunners have needed someone in that position since Alexis Sanchez left and Jota could be that man.
If not the Portuguese, Arsenal still need to sign a left winger so that players like Aubameyang are not played out of position. Financing this move will be a bit of a task for Arsenal but if Aubameyang was to leave there is no reason why Arsenal could not use that money to get a deal for Jota done.
#4 Donyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven)
Arsenal signed Donyell Malen from Ajax as a 15-year-old and the Dutchman was impressive for the Gunners at youth level having represented them at the U18, U19, and U23 levels before ultimately leaving for PSV Eindhoven in 2017.
He started off playing for the PSV Eindhoven U21 team and he was so impressive that he ended that season with 13 goals and 3 assists from 22 appearances.
It was the 2018/19 season where he made his mark in the Eredivisie ending that season with 11 goals and 5 assists and if it was not for this sudden halt, the Dutchman was well on his way to break those numbers this season.
Malen is a center forward so he would be a like for like replacement should Aubameyang leave Arsenal this summer but the 21-year-old can play anywhere across the front line. His versatility will be key in helping Arsenal restructure allowing the likes of Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette and others to play in their favored positions.
However, the problem here is his transfer budget. Malen is valued at around £48 million and that kind of money is too much for Arsenal to spend given their current situation. Selling a few players including Aubameyang seems like the only way at this point.
Having been at Arsenal for a few years, Malen knows the club, the way life works at Arsenal and the city. And with the way Arsenal are moving forward in terms of promoting young players, Malen would be a perfect addition. The only thing that remains to be seen is if Arsenal can afford him.
Published 25 Mar 2020, 15:36 IST