Jamie Redknapp believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is “past his best” and feels the Arsenal striker has “lost his superpower”.
Aubameyang, 31, endured a difficult afternoon in Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City on Sunday, failing to register a single shot on goal as he was closely marshalled by John Stones and Ruben Dias.
The striker fared better last weekend, scoring a hat-trick in Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Leeds, but his form has been patchy over the course of the season and Redknapp feels age is catching up with him.
“Aubameyang is past his best,” said the Sky Sports pundit. “He’s going to have moments; he’s going to get hat-tricks. But when I watch him sometimes, it’s like he’s lost his superpower.
“I saw him run past people when he first came to the Premier League. I saw him run past people at Dortmund. Now I’m seeing a player who looks like he’s going to get bullied.
“He’s your leading light, but the likes of [Bukayo] Saka and [Emile] Smith Rowe, they’re the ones leading the way.”
Alex Scott: It hurts me to take a one-nil!
Arsenal looked like they were in for a long afternoon at the Emirates Stadium when Raheem Sterling headed home the opening goal in the second minute and while the hosts improved after that, Alex Scott feels the game must go down as a missed opportunity.
“It hurts me that I should be sitting here and happy to take a one-nil,” she said. “I absolutely get it because Manchester City can rip you to pieces.
“But when I sit and look at that game, to me that was a City side in third gear.
“I’m not saying it’s all doom and gloom for this Arsenal side but when I reassess Manchester City, for me they weren’t even at their best today.”
The defeat leaves Arsenal in 10th place in the Premier League, a distant 11 points off the Champions League places despite their upturn in form after Christmas.
“We can sit here and keep saying it’s a transitional season and we’re waiting to see positives, but actually we need to see that come to fruition now,” added Scott.
“It’s just that consistency. It needs to be a regular thing, not a constant up and down, up and down. We need to see more signs of positivity from this Arsenal side.”
Scott believes Arsenal are now entering a pivotal period in their season, with Premier League clashes against Leicester, Tottenham, West Ham and Liverpool to come after Thursday’s Europa League showdown with Benfica in Athens.
“Arsenal have a testing couple of weeks ahead of them,” added Scott.
“They’ve got Europe – their only chance of getting into the Champions League, in my opinion – but they’ve also got Leicester City, Spurs, West Ham, Liverpool. Teams that are all above them.
“We could be sitting here in a couple of weeks and things could be looking totally bad again for Arsenal. They need to reflect on this and be able to pick themselves up and go again.”
Redknapp added: “They will always be a big club but if they want to be a big team, they can’t be in the position they are in now.
“When they lost [to Manchester City] in the Carabao Cup 4-1, it felt like a real low point for the manager and it felt like he might lose his job.
“He’s stabilised it a bit since then and there have been a few good results but I think Alex has hit the nail on the head. This is an important time for this team, the club and the manager right now.”