The Pros and Cons of the Aubameyang ordeal

Here we are again, in familiar territory, a key player running down his contract, the management scrambling in search of answers, Arsenal never learn, do they?

When Arsenal paid a then club record fee of £56m for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the winter of 2018, but only handed him a three(3) and a half year contract, many eye brows were raised and rightly so. The day seemed inevitable when his contract would be approaching it's end and Arsenal would be left scratching their heads again in search of answers, and so it has proven.

For a while now, Arsenal have been negotiating a new contract with the representatives of the Gabonese talisman, but every offer and attempts from Arsenal has proved futile. Reports from different medias have suggested that Aubameyang is demanding a £300k/w deal which would represent a major increase on what he currently earns. Judging solely on Aubameyang's current production, few would argue against him deserving such a contract, especially seeing as Mesut Oil who produces far less is on more.

This is where the knot is, handing Mesut Ozil that mega money deal has proven a big mistake, which perhaps Arsenal are trying to avoid making again. Mesut Ozil was in great form before his contract renewal back in 2018 but has failed to produce since putting pen to paper, amidst aging and other off-field factors.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been absolutely crucial, he led the team on goals scored last season, winning the EPL golden boot in the process with twenty-three(23) Goals in the league and thirty(30) in all competitions. This season, he leads the team in goals again with seventeen(17) goals in the league(only Jamie Vardy has more) and tewnty(20) in all competitions. His importance to the team cannot be overstated.

Conversely, for all his abilities, he's not getting any younger at 31 and the possibility or likelihood of a deterioration cannot be ruled out. If Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang becomes another Mesut Ozil, an overpaid big name player with a high level reputation but presently underperforming, it could come with very devastating effects. Paul Merson stated last week that Mesut Ozil's contract is a factor in Aubameyang's contract demands, with the Gabonese right to demand that high on the basis that a player contributing less is earning more. On a very neutral basis, it is very difficult to argue against that.

Dealing with Mesut Ozil alone has proven a little too much to handle for the team, with every player negotiating a contract extension now pointing to Mesut Ozil's contract as a reason to get a better contract. Adding another underperforming, over aged player would do no good and all harm to potential negotiations.

This is not to say that Aubameyang is underperforming by any means, he is at the peak of his powers and absolutely crucial to the team. However, a potential contract renewal would span over the next three(3) years at the very least, when he'd have celebrated his 34th birthday, and there is no guarantee he'd be able to perform at the required level at such age. That is why this is a very delicate situation and choice to make.

Do you keep Aubameyang with the guarantee of his current output and risk a potential backfire and consequence or do you let him go and risk the team suffering a great loss in a time when they need all the help they can get? It's a choice Arsenal must make, and it's one they cannot afford mistakes.

In truth, Arsenal can rarely afford mistakes in any transfer ordeal now, with a decision to be made on Dani Ceballos too. It's time for the brains behind the Arsenal transfer decisions to step up.

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