Barcelona are on the lookout for a new forward this season, and they have certainly identified a few targets. Reports suggest that they are also considering Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as an option and now Ray Parlour says that the Gunners must sell their star striker if he does not want to sign a new contract with the club.
In an interview with Talksport, the Arsenal legend has said that rather than losing their man for free next season, Arteta should sell him this summer itself. His exact words were “I think you’ve got to sell him if he doesn’t sign a contract, and then take the money and try to replace him.”
What would he bring to Barcelona?
The Gabon international is leading the Arsenal line since January of 2018 and so far has scored 49 times in the Premier League for his side. The 30-year-old has been the go-to man for the club when in times of need and his transfer away from the squad would undoubtedly worry the Spanish gaffer.
However, what is Arsenal’s loss could be Barcelona’s gain. The Gabon international is right now at the peak of his career and hopefully would remain so for the next couple of years. This season he has scored 17 goals for the side in 26 Premier League matches and taken 2.5 shots per game. This certainly keeps the opposition defenders wary of him all the time, and he can be a threat any moment.
Although primarily a centre-forward, he can also ply his trade on the left and right side of the attacking three. However, at Barcelona, he certainly would not be asked to play at those positions since Setien has plenty of options in those slots. His passing skill cannot be said to be the best in the world with him completing a meek figure of 72% of his total passes. Same can be said about his dribbling skills as he has not made more than 0.5 dribbles per 90 minutes.
Aubameyang has tremendous pace, and that has been the highlight of his game since the very start of his career. The ex-Dortmund man can beat any defender in the world with his speed and can then take a shot at goal. It becomes tough for the opposition to contain him if given any space.
What would be his role in the team?
The Catalan giants are in a phase of transition, and sooner than later, players like Luis Suarez would hang up his boots. The Uruguayan international has been a tremendous servant of the club, with his all-round talent. Although the ex-Liverpool man can dribble his way past the defenders much better than the Arsenal forward, Aubameyang can match him in his speed.
Playing for the English side, he has been often asked to play in a two-man forward role with Lacazette as his strike partner. At Barca, this would not be the scenario as the manager could play him centrally with Messi and Ansu Fati operating from the wings. The Arsenal man would be much comfortable in this formation, and it is expected that his output would increase further. Overall, we can say that Aubameyang has it in him to be the next Luis Suarez for the Cules.
Stats from Whoscored.
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