Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Signing Brings a Renewed Sense of Optimism to Arsenal6 min read
With Arsenal just announcing that they have signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a club-record fee of around £56m, there is a sense of renewed optimism for the rest of the season.
While the Gunners are still feeling sore after their crushing and, quite frankly, humiliating defeat to Swansea, who were bottom of the Premier League at the time, they are hoping that the Gabon international striker is going to come in and hit the ground running.
There have been constant rumours circulating regarding the striker’s future, with many top European clubs interested in him for the last few years. It is a slightly left field signing from Arsenal, who only just broke their transfer record in the summer after bringing in French forward Alexandre Lacazette.
It can be argued that Arsène Wenger’s main problem is with his defence, after yet another shambolic performance from his back four, but the French manager has decided to give the green light and recruit more firepower in attack.
Bringing in Aubameyang is good for all parties in this deal: the Gabon striker has wanted to leave Dortmund for some time and now gets his wish, the German club grew infuriated with Aubameyang’s behaviour over the last year and receive a hefty fee for a soon-to-be 29 year old, and Arsenal have an attacking option that is considered one of the best in his position in the world.
What Aubameyang will provide Arsenal
The most obvious attribute the Gabon international will provide the Gunners with is his impressive record of scoring goals. In 2016-17, Aubameyang found the back of the net 40 times in 46 appearances – an absolutely incredible amount.
There is no wonder why the likes of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain were sniffing around in the past 18 months, but it will be Arsenal who hope to reap the rewards of the forward’s clinical edge in front of goal.
By losing Alexis Sánchez to a rival in Manchester United, Arsenal needed a player who can pick up from where the Chilean left. And that is by scoring goals. Lots of them. Aubameyang, again, this season, has proved to be capable of doing so and has scored 21 goals in 24 appearances in just six months.
Interestingly, all of Aubameyang’s goals this season have come from well within the 18-yard box, portraying that he is in fact more of a poacher than a striker to create something from nothing.
This could become a problem due to selling Sánchez, given he was the complete opposite of a poacher and had that something special in his locker. Aubameyang might well have that, but, based off of this season’s performances, he has been far more active 15 yards out from the goal than outside the area.
Green dots = goals
Lacazette is a similar mould of striker and his goals have, too, come from inside the area, with only one marginally outside. It ultimately depends on whether Wenger uses both forwards in a two-man pronged attack, or whether he makes the bold decision in benching one of his very costly strikers.
Another slight concern for Arsenal fans should be the fact that the Gabon forward is cup-tied and is therefore ineligible to play in the Europa League. Given the way Arsenal’s domestic season has played out, their only hopes of securing a Champions League place for next season’s competition might well be through the means of winning the second-rate trophy.
Having just spent around £56m on Aubameyang, it is a bit gutting for the club not to be able to unleash him in Europe.
He might be nearing 29, but the Borussia Dortmund striker should be an overall welcomed addition to the squad. If Aubameyang can transfer his goal scoring numbers across to England, then Arsenal fans will be very happy with his services.