Paul Merson says Arsenal should not panic as they attempt to bring in a striker before Monday’s transfer deadline, suggesting Pierre-Emerick Aubamyenag could still have a role to play at the club.
The Gunners has so far seen their efforts to land a new striker fail, with long-term target Dusan Vlahovic set to move to Juventus.
With the futures of Aubamyenag, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah still all up in the air, the Gunners could face somewhat of a striker shortage when their Premier League campaign resumes at Wolves on Thursday, February 10.
However, Merson, speaking in his latest skysports.com column, has called for calm and even suggested Aubameyang could return from the sidelines and play an important role for Arsenal, if the issues between Arteta and his former captain can be resolved.
Read on for the Magic Man’s thoughts in full on Arsenal’s chase for a striker…
‘Arsenal shouldn’t panic’
It’s such a hard time to get players in.
They wanted to bring in Dusan Vlahovic, but there was no interest from the player at all. He is now off to Juventus.
If I was Arsenal I would not panic now. You cannot just go and chase someone for all this time and then switch targets and go for someone else.
There are now just days left of the window so, for me, Arsenal need to wait now.
Should Arsenal bring back Aubameyang?
Honestly, I’m not sure about bringing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back in from the cold.
I’m not sure how far down the line this is now. It’s not just down to the club either, you have got to see how the player is feeling.
To be honest, I thought Mikel Arteta chopped his nose off to spite his face in regard to Aubameyang in the first place.
It’s not like Arteta has got the biggest squad in the world.
‘Auba situation needs sorting; Arsenal may need him’
With Aubameyang, Arsenal need to have a sit-down meeting with him.
You have seen it before where players have just said, that’s it. He got hung out to dry and he got binned.
It could have all been sorted out behind the scenes. There’s a lot to this story and probably it could have been handled better on both sides, but now, it needs to get sorted out.
For me, Aubameyang, on his day, is still one of Arsenal’s best players.
A lot has gone on, that is for sure, but now, with the struggles in the transfer market, it looks like Arteta might have to go back to Aubameyang with his tail between his legs and ask: “Have you got another six months for us please?”
Then they may be able to sort something out after that when the summer transfer windows opens.
‘Arsenal need a striker’
If Alexandre Lacazette puts the open goal chance away against Burnley, it is job done and no one is moaning at all.
Everyone would be talking about how good a result that would have been for Arsenal with a clean sheet too. It’s 1-0 to the Arsenal and everything is great. But he misses an open goal and all of a sudden, they have only scored one goal in January, which came in their best performance by a mile.
That’s the problem Arsenal have. You are not going to win too much without a centre forward.
I know people will say Manchester City do, but they still have to win the Champions League playing with a false nine. They also have superstars all over the pitch and are probably the only team in the world that could do that.
So, Arsenal need a centre forward.
‘Unless you are Man City, you don’t win things without a striker’
Fulham are going to get promoted to the Premier League because they have got a proper centre forward. Take away Aleksandar Mitrovic and for all the good players they have got there, they are not getting promoted.
When a team is successful in football, they very rarely do not have a centre forward. It’s as simple as that.
Manchester City dominated football because of Sergio Aguero, and I know they are top of the league and flying along now, but we have seen enough times over the last few years them dominating a game, like they did at PSG, and end up losing 2-0.
What about the games where they failed to score at home to Southampton? At the start of the season, they failed to score in six of their first 16 games in all competitions.
You have only got to do that twice in March or in April and you are out of the Champions League with everybody going mad. They would be saying hang on, Manchester City have all the money in the world. Why didn’t they buy a striker? Why didn’t they just break the bank and get Harry Kane or whoever?
For me, they are playing on the edge.
It’s a really dangerous game. If it works and they win it, great, but if they don’t everybody will be asking the centre forward question.
The same applies to Arsenal. Can they bring someone in before the end of the transfer window or could it be that they turn to Aubameyang again.
It’s a big decision for the Gunners and whatever happens could go a long way in deciding their fate this season.
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