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Were Arsenal actually interested in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?

Reports suggest Arsenal may have bid for the Gabonese striker from Borussia Dortmund

Hamburger SV v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been sent out on loan several times during his senior football career, with short spells at Lille and Monaco, but it seems that he will be staying at Dortmund for the time being. Several publications, including Fox Sports and the Daily Mirror, have linked Arsenal with Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Fox Sports suggested that,

“Vincenzo Morabito, a ‘transfer intermediary’ who puts the right people in touch to make deals happen, told that Arsenal offered €90 million ($130m) to sign the striker from Borussia Dortmund.”

Since Dortmund already allowed İlkay Gündoğan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to leave during the most recent transfer window, it is highly unlikely that Dortmund were truly interested in letting another prolific veteran depart to join a team in the Premier League. Currently, Dortmund has a core of talented young players, including Ousmane Dembele, Christian Pulisic, and Emre Mor. Allowing these young players to grow alongside an experienced player like Aubameyang could provide them with valuable experience as Dortmund looks to continue their run of recent success.

The number of goals that Aubameyang has scored for Dortmund so far this season make it difficult to argue that Aubameyang would struggle to fit in with any team (he scored four goals against Hamburg). However, the other moves that Arsenal made during this past transfer window indicate that these claims are nothing more than conjecture. Lucas Perez joined the Gunners from Real Deportivo after two other players Arsenal were targeting, Gonzalo Higuain and Alexandre Lacazette, did not sign. Higuain moved from Napoli to Juventus and Lacazette decided to stay at Lyon. Aubameyang is a quality player, but it seems suspicious that Arsenal would place such a high bid for him when they were involved with other attacking players at a significantly lower price.

This move would also have added another experienced attacking player to Arsenal’s roster. With Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, and Alex Iwobi already under contract adding Aubameyang would mean that one regular starter would reguarly be left on the bench. During this past transfer window Arsenal had several needs that they were trying to address and a wing player was not high on their list of priorities.

Since this report has emerged at this point in this season, it seems that reporters are suggesting that Arsenal repeatedly failed to acquire a world-class striker instead of reporting on actual facts.