It now seems a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will sign for Arsenal.
Reports suggest the unsettled Borussia Dortmund striker has agreed a three-and-a-half year deal with the Gunners and will earn around £170,000-a-week at the Emirates Stadium.
Aubameyang is expected to be reunited with his former Dortmund teammate Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who is poised to complete his switch to Arsenal from Manchester United, with Alexis Sanchez heading in the opposite direction.
Arsene Wenger was criticised by Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc on Thursday for talking publicly about Aubameyang.
After Wenger admitted the Gabon international would “fit in” at Arsenal, Zorc fired back: "There is no contact on our part with Arsenal. Arsene Wenger certainly has enough currently to deal with the performance of his own players."
Arsenal fans can't wait for Aubameyang's arrival
But Aubameyang, by all accounts, wants to leave Signal Iduna Park for the Emirates. The 28-year-old has been left out of the BVB squad for the Bundesliga match against Hertha Berlin this evening and it now seems certain that he’s already made his final appearance for the German outfit.
Most Arsenal fans appear to be excited by the prospect of Aubameyang signing for their club - and that’s entirely understandable.
This is a prolific goalscorer who has found the back of the net 141 times in 212 matches for Dortmund.
Merson drops a few truth bombs about Aubameyang
However, former Gunner Paul Merson made some interesting points about the centre-forward on Sky Sports’ ’The Debate’ show on Thursday evening.
Unlike the majority of his fellow Arsenal fans, Merson has some serious worries over Aubameyang that, in all honesty, sound perfectly reasonable.
“I like Aubameyang’s record. My worry is he’s full of pace - he’s electric, he’s very quick. I don’t know too many players in my lifetime that have become quicker the older they get - and that’s going to be a problem, because he is pace,” Merson argued.
“The other thing with him that worries me: he’s not turned up a couple of times, refused to play a couple of times for Dortmund. That’s worrying. I don’t like people like that. You’re getting paid by your club, you play. Don’t matter what’s going on. So that could be a bit of a worry.”
Merson also believes that it would be unfair on Olivier Giroud if he’s ushered out the door to make room for Aubameyang - and believes the Gabonese striker’s arrival could also lead to Alexandre Lacazette being dropped to the bench.
“I think he’d be unlucky, Giroud, I really do,” the 49-year-old continued. “I think he’s underrated.
“If Aubameyang comes, does Lacazette play? I don’t see Lacazette playing.”
Merson: Chelsea should sign Giroud
Interestingly, in the same clip, Merson suggested that Chelsea should be looking to sign Giroud this month.
The Blues have been linked with various big centre-forwards over the past couple of days - including, bizarrely, Stoke City’s veteran striker Peter Crouch - but Merson reckons the solution is staring Chelsea in the face.
“Giroud’s the answer,” Merson added. “If they’re looking for someone who’s big and strong, can change the game, I don’t see anybody better.”
Video: Merson on Aubameyang and Giroud
Watch the clip in full here…
Arsenal fans: is Paul Merson right about Aubameyang? Be honest. Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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