20 Jan, 13:15
Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continues to be linked with a move to English side Arsenal, who are on the verge of selling Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United.
The Gunners were previously linked with Thomas Lemar and Riyad Mahrez but Aubameyang is now their top transfer target. After being heavily linked with a switch to North London, the Gabon international was left out of Dortmund’s squad as talks between the clubs continue. The Bundesliga club is holding out for a deal worth around £55 million, but with the player making life difficult, they are even eyeing up Olivier Giroud in a potential player-plus-cash deal.
If the deal pushes through, the 28-year-old will be expected to hit the ground running and trying to replace Sanchez. We take a look at qualities which can make the star succeed in Arsenal jersey.
Without a doubt, Auba is one of the fastest players in the world. It has been evident that the Gunners have struggled on counter attacks recently and the star will add a sense of fear with the opposition defenders trying not to get punished by leaving gaps behind.
When he found success in Ligue 1, Aubameyang was still playing as a winger, creating chances by playing off a target-man. Continuing to evolve at Dortmund, he transitioned into a centre-forward. During that time he has shown a ruthless streak in front of goal, with 48 percent of his shots on target finding the back of the net. Out of his 13 strikes this term, none have come from outside the penalty area.
Rather than use quick ball control to beat defenders in tight spaces, Aubameyang will knock the ball forward and burst down the flanks. He has 16 assists in four seasons, but the way he stretches the back-line creates space for others to exploit. Plus, from time-to-time, he can still knock in a mean cross from the flanks.
What Auba does best is find the back of the net, but he hasn’t always been a natural. In 84 games for Dijon, Lille and Monaco combined, he scored just 12 goals.He improved massively at Saint-Etienne, finding the net 41 times in 97 games. Then at Dortmund, he has blossomed into a top centre-forward, with an incredible 141 goals in 212 games.
The drive, pace and energy the 28-year-old brings will help lift the Gunners attack. Although Arsène Wenger will need to work out the best way to combine the talents of Aubameyang and record-signing Alexandre Lacazette, you must believe great players find a way to play together.
Aubameyang will not only provide support to his team-mates, but a competition for places is always a healthy problem to have.