After what seemed like an eternal wait for Arsenal fans, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finally confirmed his future with the club by signing a three-year contract, which will keep him at Emirates Stadium until 2024.
Rumours swirled surrounding the future of Aubameyang following his FA Cup Final winning brace in August. The player posted a number of cryptic tweets that featured an hourglass, sending Arsenal supporters into a frenzy when his new deal was announced on Tuesday.
With his new contract signed, read on below for how Aubameyang’s decision to commit to Arsenal could help the Gunners’ pursuit of players in the transfer market.
Having wrapped up a deal for their talismanic captain, Arsenal’s attention must turn to their top transfer targets before the window closes on 5 October. Manager Mikel Arteta has maintained his interest in midfield duo Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar, who have been the Spaniard’s preferred options for much of the summer.
After impressing in Lyon’s run to the Champions League semi-finals last season, Aouar could be persuaded to join Arsenal because of the presence of a world-class finisher in Aubameyang. Although the Gunners are playing in the Europa League, this could be an attraction for Aouar. Lyon missed out on European football altogether when Ligue 1 was terminated in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The presence of Aubameyang, who leads by example with an excellent goal-scoring record, could help Aouar integrate quickly into the side should he choose to join. Thanks to their French-speaking connection, Aouar would have the chance to settle seamlessly into an Arsenal side that is crying out for creative talent.
Arsenal are also finding it tricky to negotiate for Partey with Atletico Madrid insistent that, unless his £50 million release clause is met, he will not be allowed to leave. The player is said to prefer a move to the Premier League but is yet to force his way through the exit door.
The message sent by the Arsenal skipper in rejecting Barcelona is that he has complete faith in Arteta and the Spaniard’s ambitious rebuilding process. After all, Arteta has won the FA Cup and had his job title changed from head coach to manager in the space of nine months as Arsenal boss. These are on and off pitch examples respectively that Arteta is prepared to take full responsibility for the club’s fortunes on the road to success.
This is a factor that must not be underestimated in north London. After the acrimonious events of last winter that dangerously divided the Arsenal fanbase, Arteta has instilled a sense of hope and optimism amongst supporters barely a year into the job. Moreover, he has drilled accountability and discipline into his players that has led to a healthy competitionfor places amongst the squad.
Although he is the first name on the team-sheet, Aubameyangis at the forefront of this.
Asked by Arteta to move out to the left wing to accommodateAlexandre Lacazette or Eddie Nketiah, he did not once complain about being shifted out of position. Instead, the Gabon international remained focused on scoring goals, for he knew this is how he would contribute to the team most effectively.
Arsenal have already beaten off Napoli and Manchester United in the transfer market this summer by signing Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille. Already, signs are showing of Arsenal’s ability to attract top players.
The news that Arsenal’s star striker will remain at the club, having been convinced by his manager’s project, is evidence that the Gunners are embarking on a mission to achieve success. Having Aubameyang along for the ride will only accelerate the process.