On 7th May 2006, Arsenal played their last game at Highbury and like many times before, finished above their eternal rivals, Tottenham Hotspur. The game against Wigan Athletic ended 4-2 in Arsenal’s favour. It was a fitting end to an unforgettable era at Highbury which witnessed the ‘Invincibles’ and the legendary double-winning sides of 1998 and 2002.
However, with football scaling new heights commercially, it became important for Arsenal to expand itself commercially as well. The 38,000-seater Highbury gave way to the immaculate Emirates stadium which houses up to 60,000 Gooners at a time.
The building of the Emirates stadium was not a walk in the park. The club had to incur massive debt on the stadium and still keep producing results on the pitch. Arsenal’s financial muscle was significantly crippled and they got out-muscled in the transfer market by the wealthier clubs in the land.
Arsene Wenger though, still managed to keep the club competitive and qualified for the Champions League year after year. His transfer dealings assumed more importance as he was tasked with bringing quality players to the Emirates while also balancing the books. The sale of top-notch players such as Van Persie, Fabregas and Nasri didn’t help his case.
Arsene’s post-Highbury signings have not been able to inspire a run to the title yet. However, keeping in mind the constraints Wenger had to work with, some of them represent his most astute pieces of business. Through this article, we would look at the 5 best signings Arsene made after moving to the Emirates.
#5 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was signed from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018. His signing turned out to be Wenger’s last but could end up being one of his best. His acquisition shattered the club record as the Gunners stumped up £60 million for his services.
Aubameyang has searing pace and possesses the uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time. His finishing is exemplary and he rarely fluffs his lines. Aubameyang got off to a blistering start when he scored on debut against Everton with a delightful dink over Jordan Pickford. In 13 Premier League games, he has made the net bulge on 10 occasions while laying on 4 assists. He averages an impressive 0.77 goals per game.
While Arsene Wenger was not able to enjoy Aubameyang’s services for long, he has surely helped his successor by bringing in a proven goal scorer. Ever since Robin van Persie left the club, the Gunners have been searching for a poacher in front of goal and Aubameyang fits the bill perfectly. At 29 years, Aubameyang is at the peak of his powers and Arsenal can expect him to be firing on all cylinders for another couple of seasons at least.
Aubameyang gets onto this list on the basis of the promise he offers. If Aubameyang, the current No.14, is even half as successful as an earlier Arsenal No.14 aka Thierry Henry, he would have assured himself of a place in Arsenal folklore.