Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher says Arsenal should keep hold of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this summer in order to boost the chances of returning to Champions League.
Aubameyang is yet to sign a contract extension with Arsenal as his current deal is set to expire next summer. The Gunners are keen to hold onto their captain who has been linked with a move to Spanish giants Barcelona. However, Carragher thinks the club should keep Aubameyang as he believes he will help the north London side to return to the UCL even if it means they risk losing him for free next summer.
"It's interesting the Arsenal situation because towards the end of my career at Liverpool we were in this situation quite a lot where you are just missing out on the top four," the former Liverpool defender said.
"Yes, it's okay having rules in place and Arsenal saying: 'We never let a player go on a Bosman ruling'. However, if you are Mikel Arteta, I would be looking at it and thinking, even if he goes for nothing next year, have we got more chance of getting in the Champions League for next season if Aubameyang stays, and that's the decision they've got to make."
"At this stage, there's no doubt about it, Aubameyang is too good for Arsenal," he added. “We had that, at times, at Liverpool with maybe Luis Suarez and certain players that you have in your squad. You are desperate to keep hold of them because you are thinking as a club you want to build around this player and if that player goes you feel like you're starting again.
"That's the problem you have trying to get back into the top four and establishing yourselves again as Arsenal are trying to do. That will be a decision for them. It's okay saying if he doesn't want to be there let him go. I hear all this but it's not easy when you are at that club and you have a player of such star quality, who is probably nailed on this season and next season to be there or thereabouts for the golden boot.
"It's not easy to find goal scorers. I'd keep Aubameyang and see what you could do. Could you bring players in around that, hopefully, have a successful season and maybe in the next 12 months convince him to stay? If not, I think it gives Arsenal a greater chance of getting back into the top four and that's where they need to be."