mirror: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is Arsenal’s star man – but the question is how long for?
The Gabonese striker was comfortably their top goalscorer with 22 goals during a below-par campaign for Mikel Arteta’s men.
He also broke Thierry Henry’s record as quickest to 50 goals for the Gunners in the latter stages of the campaign.
But Aubameyang’s future remains unclear with his contract situation taking a fresh twist.
According to The Athletic, Arsenal ’s situation is more favourable than first thought, with the club holding an extension clause in his deal, which expires in 2021.
But the Gunners, who are trying to tie down Aubameyang to a new deal, are resisting triggering that clause.
One of the reasons they are hesitant is due to the financial strain it would cause as they aim to agree a more favourable deal.
But Aubameyang himself has reportedly been keen to get his future resolved as a lengthy saga rumbles on – and playing hardball over the price leaves Arsenal at risk of history repeating itself.
They were unable to convince Thierry Henry to stay at the club in 2006, whilst Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor were amongst a host of high-profile players to jump ship for more lucrative opportunities a few years later.
Arsenal have a track record of being unable to keep their top talent from the clutches of Europe’s richest clubs.
If they are unwilling to pay Aubameyang top dollar, then they are in serious danger of losing their talisman again at a time when they can ill-afford to lose any more talent.
Former Gunners striker Jeremie Aliadiere recently blasted Arsenal’s “crazy” strategy which has often left them in a vulnerable position to lose their stars.
“What you need to do is just build and the problem is, we don’t build,” he told Goal. “We buy a player, but he’s going to get sold two years later or go on a free transfer four years later and then you have to replace him.
“So you are going in a circle all the time. You need to build with players you are going to keep for six, seven, eight years. Then you get less turnover all the time and you’re not always trying to find someone who will be as good as the player you’ve just lost.
“If you are not doing that, it just never feels like you are building. It feels like you are just going year by year.
“People will say Auba is a top player and we’ve got all his goals if we keep him. Yeah, I get that, I totally understand that. But how can you build a club or a team if you keep doing that?
“By playing year by year and trying to keep your top player just for an extra season, you end up losing him a year later and you lose money. I just don’t think that is smart business you know?
“It’s things like this that upsets fans. This is how fans turn against the club. It’s because they feel it’s not right.
“You can’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again. It’s crazy. How many top players are we going to keep losing on a free, or on very lower transfer fees? You just feel disappointed about it.”
Source: Published by mirror