Ever since Alexis Sanchez’s departure from the Emirates seemed set – to City or United, the question on Arsenal fan’s lips was, ‘Who will be his replacement?’.
Gooners were questioning the desire of the club’s board, their reasoning behind the failure to extend Alexis’ contract alongside many other big names at the Emirates.
It seems however, a deal is done which will see Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang complete a move North London for a club record fee of £55.4m.
Hats off to the people high up at the club, who it seems have almost stumbled across the signing of both Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang in the same window. Well played.
The deal has taken a while to negotiate due to the fact Dortmund want to secure a replacement for the Gabon international. It looks as though that man will be Chelsea’s Batshuayi on loan until the end of the season.
Anyway – enough of the transfer talk. What will Aubameyang bring to this Arsenal side?
Goals, Goals, Goals
Since the departure of RVP, Arsenal have been searching for that elusive striker who delivers 30+ goals a season. They somewhat found it in Alexis Sanchez, but he was never an out-and-out forward. Aubameyang, however, has proved himself to be one of the most prolific strikers in Europe over the last few years.
15/16: 36 goals in 45 Apps
16/17: 42 goals in 51 Apps
17/18: 21 goals in 25 Apps
Arsenal’s Top Scorer in all comps:
15/16: 24 goals in 39 Apps
16/17: 30 goals in 47 Apps
17/18: 9 goals in 23 Apps
He’s netted 141 league goals in four-and-a-half seasons at Dortmund and we believe he’ll be a fantastic addition to The Gunner’s attacking artillery. Yes, it’s a different league, but you can only score against who’s in front of you, right?
Arsenal could potentially line up with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Mhkhtaryan on the inside right, allowing Ozil to play in his preferred No.10 role, with Lacazette on the left and Aubameyang up front. It’s an exciting front four, which has a balance of pace, vision and goals…
Charlie Nicholas told Sky Sports, “I think it could be an exciting partnership to watch flourish, with Mkhitaryan on the right-hand side and Mesut Ozil operating in a freer role behind.”
Alternatively, Wenger could revert back to a 4-3-3 formation, with Aubameyang and Lacazette playing as an attacking duo, with Ozil again at No.10 and Mkhitaryan sitting deeper on the right.
Furthermore, the Arsenal boss may wish to combine Aubameyang and Lacazette as a pair in a 3-5-2 which would see Ramsey/Xhaka, Ozil and Wilshere sit in behind.
It’s exciting times for Arsenal fans.
Ozil Gets His Front-Runner
Mesut Ozil’s 48 assists tops the Premier League charts since he arrived from Real Madrid, however, apart from Sanchez’s intelligent running, he’s often had target men to provide for, and although Lacazette has showcased these kind of runs, goals have been hard to come by. So, the introduction of Aubameyang should offer Ozil a front-runner to play his perfectly-weighted balls into, something the German will thrive off.
Arsenal’s number 11 provided Cristiano Ronaldo alone, with 27 assists during his reasonably short tenure at Real Madrid. It will be interesting to see how the Gabon forward adapts to life in the Premier league but the prospect of Aubameyang and Ozil in the same team alongside Wilshere, Mkhitaryan and Lacazette will have Gooners drooling.
The Dortmund Link
Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan were an integral attacking force at Dortmund, especially during the 2015/16 season, when they contributed a combined 62 goals. They formed one of the most devastating partnerships in Europe – expect more of the same for the remainder of the season.
Toys Can’t Be Thrown Out of the Pram
Aubameyang has a temperament.
Borussia Dortmund correspondent Sebastian Kolsberger said, “In the summer the situation changed. He wanted to leave the club, but there was no offer for him.
“It was a big mind change for him. He did everything to provoke a move, and he showed his real character. Everything is about money, and he doesn’t care about the club and his teammates.”
The prospect of Aubameyang at Arsenal does scream goals, yet it’s up to Arsene Wenger to find a formation that has suits both him and the players in behind, and ensure the Gabon International maintains a sunny disposition.
Achieve that and they will reap the rewards of finally possessing a world-class striker.