As you probably know, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has entered his final year of contract with Arsenal and his future is a very hot topic at the moment. The club have prepared an offer of a new deal for him to sign, but it hasn’t happened yet. So what is going on and what is the forward thinking about right now?
Several writers at The Athletic, including the ever-reliable David Ornstein, have put their heads together to offer some insight on the matter.
Aubameyang joined Arsenal in January 2018 as a big-name signing, half a season later than initially expected. The Gunners had been contemplating moving for the Borussia Dortmund man for some time, but in the summer of 2017, they chose to sign Alexandre Lacazette from Olympique Lyon as a slightly cheaper option and an equally sought-after striker. Now, of course, they have both, but it seems that had they signed Aubameyang first and the Gabonese showed the same level of performance, they probably wouldn’t have moved for Lacazette at all.
In his first full season at the Emirates, the Gabonese won the Premier League Golden Boot together with the Liverpool duo of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. This time around he missed out to Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy by a single goal. But the thing is, winning individual awards probably isn’t enough for him anymore, and he would likely prefer a Premier League winner’s medal, or at least an opportunity to play in the Champions League. Arsenal, of course, can’t provide either at the moment.
Despite all that, Aubameyang is happy at the club. He loves living in London and enjoys a great relationship with his teammates and head coach Mikel Arteta, but the main question now is whether that’s enough to keep him. He has never won a domestic title or a European trophy in his career, and he isn’t likely to enjoy any international success either. These are the things he is probably pondering right now, which means Arsenal will have to do their best to convince him that they can do better than they currently are. They need to present a project for the future, a plan of progress.
If he were to leave, a move abroad is far more feasible than staying in England. Barcelona and Inter Milan have already expressed interest in his services, while Juventus are also monitoring the situation.
Aubameyang will have a chance of winning a trophy with Arsenal and salvaging at least something from an otherwise disappointing season on Saturday, when the team face Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
The Gunners can be backed at 12/5 to beat Frank Lampard’s side.