Arteta apologises to Arsenal fans after defeat at Brentford
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Arsenal’s star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang didn’t perform to the best of his abilities last season, and interest in Tammy Abraham has apparently signalled the end for him – amid contract woes for Arsenal’s biggest earner.
Aubameyang joined from Borussia Dortmund in 2018 for a club-record fee believed to be £56million, offering fresh hope to Gunners fans.
He immediately did so; scoring 10 in 14 in his first season in north London, before amassing 22 league goals in 36 league games in two consecutive seasons, cementing his place as one of the best strikers in the league.
However, after a paltry campaign last season in which he scored just 15 goals in 39 games, The Times report that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is open to offers for the Gabonese captain.
It is a stark reality from last season, where Aubameyang was one of the only players Arteta could rely on.
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In all fairness to Aubameyang, his absence was felt at Brentford on Friday evening, where Florian Balogun led the line – but was largely ineffective as the Bees beat Arsenal 2-0 to go top of the Premier League in their first top-flight game for 74 years.
The Gunners have been linked with Chelsea striker Abraham, but after seeing their performance, is reportedly considering a move to AS Roma.
Yet, without the creative spark that the club have missed since Mesut Ozil used to grace the Emirates Stadium, there is a real need for a No 10 to come in ahead of a striker.
Emile Smith-Rowe was the only credible player in the loss at Brentford, but he alone cannot be called upon to consistently perform.
Arsenal can afford a playmaker, but they would be pressed to sell other players over concerns that Aubameyang’s talents have dried up.
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With the club in the market for a new striker and Alexandre Lacazette two years younger, it would be a financial decision to recoup a fee and get Aubameyang off the wage bill.
And they may also sell other deadwood to try to recruit a new striker.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson and Hector Bellerin have all supposedly been transfer-listed in a bid to raise funds.
But with little to no interest in said players, it represents a challenge for Arsenal chiefs to shift the unwanted quartet.
Arsenal continue their campaign against cross-city rivals Chelsea next Sunday in a blockbuster clash.
And with Romelu Lukaku set to debut against Arteta’s side, it is no doubt he will show them what a top striker looks like.
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