clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract demands

They’re...pretty reasonable.

Arsenal Training Session Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wants a three-year, £250,000-a-week deal to stay at Arsenal, per James Olley of ESPNFC. The report comes just days after Aubameyang became the fastest player to reach 50 Premier League goals in club history. His brace against Norwich City also tied him with Jamie Vardy atop the Premier League scoring leaderboard.

Over the past few weeks, Mikel Arteta has consistently said he wants Aubameyang at the club going forward and that he is confident that a deal can get done.

Aubameyang has been perhaps the most consistent player at the club since joining Arsenal in January 2018. His timely goals have stolen points and salvaged poor performances time and again. He has been and still is a world-class striker.

But new contracts shouldn’t reward past performance; they should track projected value. A three-year deal would carry Aubameyang into the season where he turns 34, and by then, his production may have started to decline.

Arsenal FC v Norwich City - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Arsenal should still do the deal. Did I get you with the previous paragraph?

Aubameyang’s ask is a reasonable one, especially when compared to the £350,000-a-week Mesut Özil makes. That’s not an indictment of Özil, by the way. The club offered him the contract. If Arsenal can get PEA at that number, they should. And Aubameyang’s production declines at some point, I won’t blame him for his wages either.

Aubameyang is going to score 15+ goals next season. He’ll almost certainly do it again the season after that. Arsenal are much more likely to qualify for the Champions League with him in the fold than they are without him. And if they do make the CL, the deal is absolutely worth it. On those two factors alone, I think he’s worth the cost/risk, even if he doesn’t get to that level in the final year of the deal. Plus, I doubt he falls off a production cliff and stops scoring completely at 33/34, either.

And the contract has value beyond the goals and the cash involved. It sends the right message — that Arsenal are willing to do what it takes and spend the money to get back to the Champions League. That’s important for the players on the roster right now and for potential transfer targets and signings.

Aubameyang signing a new deal would also be a meaningful vote of confidence from a star player that Arsenal under Mikel Arteta are on the right track (or at least a track that he believes in). I think we underestimate and don’t really understand that part of the club dynamic as outside observers.

Arsenal need to be a place players want to play. Part of that is the club using the checkbook to demonstrate a commitment to winning. Another part of that is having a manager, a plan, and a system that players think will lead to success. Yet another part of that is the right atmosphere in the locker room and around the training ground.

And Aubameyang definitely brings that last part. From what I can tell, he’s a fun-loving and generally happy guy who lifts the spirits of the players around him. And from a fan perspective, he’s fun to watch. He’s the kind of dynamic, exciting player I want at the club. That’s not necessarily the best reason for the club to offer him a new deal, but at the same time, there’s value to having players that fans want to see.

Of course, I could also turn around and write a similar number of words detailing all the reasons Arsenal should either sell Aubameyang this summer or let him play out the last year of his contract and leave on a free, but that’s just the blogger in me. There are compelling arguments on that side of it, too. But I genuinely believe that re-upping Aubameyang is the right move.

It’s been a good week for contracts at Arsenal. Bukayo Saka signed a contract extension. Gabriel Martinelli signed one too. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang getting a new deal would be the icing on the cake.