Why Arsenal should prioritise new deals for Aubameyang and Lacazette
According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are set to open contract negotiations with star attacking duo Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with the Gunners keen to secure the long-term future of the influential strike pair.
The same report claims that the Gunners are set to prioritise a new deal for Aubameyang, who currently earns around £200,000-a-week at the Emirates, with the 30-year-old Gabonese international’s current contract set to expire in the summer of 2021.
Lacazette, on the other hand, is also viewed as central to the club’s plans moving forward but the Gunners find themselves under pressure to offload Mesut Ozil, who is the club’s highest earner at £350,000-a-week, in a bid to free up some valuable finds to facilitate a contract renewal drive. (h/t Daily Mail)
The 28-year-old Frenchman, though, is not out of contract in North London until the summer of 2022 and the Gunners’ decision to prioritise a new deal for Aubameyang definitely makes a lot of sense.
Academy graduate Joe Willock put pen to paper on fresh terms in September and Arsenal are striving further to tie down some of the key players at the club to new deals in order to avoid speculation over the futures.
To that end, both Aubameyang and Lacazette have been amongst the standout performers at the club since the arrival of Unai Emery and it is a no-brainer that Arsenal secure their long-term futures.
It would be a massive statement of intent and a step that could make them strong top-four contenders should they manage to sort out the problems in other areas of their squad.
Aubameyang, who came through the door at Arsenal as a bonafide goalscorer from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018 for a then club-record fee of £56million, has done his reputation no harm.
The 30-year-old has bagged a staggering 49 goals and 12 assists in 73 appearances for the Gunners, a strike rate which is terrific.
The former Dortmund man scored 22 goals in the Premier League last term to share the Golden Boot with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, and his strong start to the ongoing campaign suggests that he is still hungry for more.
Aubameyang has already racked up 8 goals in 8 appearances in all competitions this season and it is imperative to say that holding on to him could be the difference between a much-awaited return to the Champions League and Europa League mediocrity for the Gunners.
Lacazette, who was also a club-record signing from Lyon for a fee of £46.5million in the summer of 2017, has been a regular source of goals and assists for the Gunners on all fronts.
Despite his recurrent struggles with injuries, the 28-year-old has managed a respectable tally of 38 goals and 18 assists in 91 appearances, including 19 in all competitions in the previous campaign.
Aubameyang has consistently lit up the Emirates with sheer moments of brilliance and his clinical finishing in front of goal with both head and feet mean that he is an indispensable component of Arsenal’s attack, not to mention his lightning pace and all-round game, which make him one of the most devastating strikers in Europe.
Lacazette, on the contrary, offers a lot in terms of holding up the ball with his back to goal, bringing others into play and providing a much-needed focal point to the attack.
Besides his obvious pedigree as an out-and-out centre-forward, the Frenchman has illustrated a great level of proficiency in assisting his teammates with his clever link-up play and a like-to-like replacement in the market would cost the Gunners millions of pounds.
With both the strikers offering something different on the pitch, Arsenal have been at their sparkling best whenever Emery has opted to pair them up top and that should be the way forward, with Nicolas Pepe failing to live up to the expectations and Ozil very much a marginalised figure nowadays.
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Suffice to say, Arsenal offering new deals to their key strike duo would be a step in the right direction and one that could possibly propel them to greater heights in the years to come.