Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is expected to sign a new, three-year Arsenal contract “imminently” according to David Ornstein of The Athletic. The move will end months of speculation about his future and will make him the club’s highest paid player. As is becoming customary with Arsenal contracts and deals, Mikel Arteta’s involvement and intervention was key to getting the signing over the line.
This was a move that Arsenal had to make. Any potential age concerns or injury concerns had to be put aside. The club had to extend Aubameyang. They had to show their locker room and other clubs that they are serious about competing for Champions League qualification. Arsenal couldn’t let another star player walk on a free. He’s club captain and a leader on the pitch. And there is no way they would replace his goal contribution.
Since joining the Gunners, Aubameyang has racked up 71 goals in 110 games. He has scored the most goals of any player in the Premier League in all competitions over that period. He was joint top scorer in the Premier League in 2018-19 and came second on the scoring chart this season by a single goal. He has repeatedly saved the side from bad results, and there is no reason to think that won’t continue going forward.
According to Ornstein, the signing means that Arsenal may look more aggressively to sell Alexandre Lacazette, who only has two years remaining on his contract. As we’ve said, the Gunners feel they need to sell to buy, and Lacazette would generate much-needed funds.
But let’s shift back to Aubameyang. We should be thrilled by this deal. I am. Aubameyang is the kind of player I want on my team and captaining my club. He’s got world class skill and is fun to watch, both on and off the field. Seeing him in an Arsenal shirt makes me happy. I’m glad we’ve all got more of that in our future.