This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is mulling over whether he will commit to a new contract with Arsenal, according to Goal.
Goal’s Arsenal correspondent, Charles Watts, had this to say about Aubameyang and his fellow attacker Alexandre Lacazette: “Arsenal have been trying for some time now to get Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette to sign new contracts, but so far the talks have proved unsuccessful.”
Watts suggests the talismanic Gabon international is said to want Champions League football, meaning he is wary of signing to stay at the Emirates despite his current deal running out in 2021, with the Gunners having failed to break into the top four in any of their three latest campaigns.
Lacazette is in a similar state of mind, though the Frenchman’s situation is not as much of an emergency, with his current deal coming to an end in 2022.
In Aubameyang’s case, this means Arsenal could potentially find themselves in a situation they have been in to many times: risking a player being poached when their contract is approaching or has reached its end.
In recent years, they have lost Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna and Santi Cazorla for free, with the quartet having a combined Transfermarkt value of £66.45m from the times they left.
The Gunners also had their hand forced by Alexis Sanchez, when he only had six months left on his contract, as a swap deal was eventually struck up with Manchester United for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
If a similar scenario to any of these is played out with Aubameyang, it could be the biggest loss of the lot for the Gunners.
This season, he has scored 8 goals in 11 Premier League games, as per WhoScored, with that number equating to half of Arsenal’s overall total, offering an indication into just how important his goals are for the team.
To add some further context to just how well the striker has done since moving to north London, he is the seventh-fastest player in Arsenal history to reach a half-century of goals for the club.
As much as the results have not been great for Arsenal in recent seasons, Aubameyang has been a driving force for the club, so it seems unfathomable that they could lose him for free, especially as his valuation is £63m, just £3.45m less than the aforementioned four combined.