Jeremie Aliadiere has ripped into Arsenal for allowing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to get to the last 12 months of his contract at the Emirates Stadium, as reported by Metro.
The Gabon international is arguably Arsenal’s most important player, having scored 20 goals in all competitions this season and taking over the Gunners team captaincy.
Since his £56million move to the Emirates Stadium in January 2018, Aubameyang has registered 61 goals and 13 assists for Arsenal in all competitions.
The 30-year-old’s future is uncertain, given his contract expires next summer, and if he doesn’t pen new terms, the Gunners will have to decide whether to cash in on him or let his contract run down.
Aliadiere, who lifted the Premier League title as part of the Invincibles in 2004, believes the Gunners cannot afford to lose Aubameyang on a free and says Arsenal’s poor management has left Arteta with a huge problem.
“They’ve got to sell him, 100 per cent,” Aliadiere is quoted by Metro as saying. “Arsenal can’t keep losing players on a free. To be honest, I still can’t believe we’ve again got a top player, our captain, going into the summer only having one year left on his contract.
“If I was Aubameyang and I knew I only had one year left, I would sacrifice one year of my career to go on a free and get paid a ridiculous amount of money and have all the clubs in the world chasing me. Who wouldn’t? That’s why I just think it’s wrong management yet again. It should be sorted at two years.”
Aliadiere definitely has a point – for a player of Aubameyang’s calibre to get to the last 12 months of his contract without a resolution shouldn’t be happening – and with the football industry set for a huge financial blow in wake of the global health crisis, Arsenal’s hand is weakened even further.
Now the Gunners are between a rock and a hard place – they can either sell Aubameyang at what is likely to be a hugely reduced price in a market where most clubs won’t be looking to spend big money, they can look to hold out until January and sell him for an even lower fee, or they can keep him for one more season and lose him for nothing.