Chris Sutton has told BT Sport’s UEFA Europa League highlights show that he thinks Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been “very, very average” this season but when he came off the bench on Thursday, the Arsenal skipper had a point to prove.
Aubameyang, 31, has been in and out of form this season – and in and out of the starting line-up. Of Arsenal’s last nine Premier League matches, Aubameyang has started five – even being left on the bench against Tottenham after turning up late.
The striker has not been as good, or effective, as he was last season. Some have suggested that signing a new contract has seen Aubameyang put his feet up, but he has still found the back of the net on 14 occasions during his 33 appearances.
He only got 12 minutes against Slavia Prague, but he came off the bench and supplied Nicolas Pepe with an assist as Arsenal drew 1-1 at The Emirates. Sutton commented on the Gabon captain, stating he has been underwhelmed by him this season.
“I thought he has been very, very average,” Sutton told BT Sport’s UEFA Europa League highlights show. “His performances have not been good enough in an Arsenal jersey so he as rightfully left out by Mikel Arteta.
“Saka played, and he was the bright spark in the first half. But when Aubameyang came on, he played as if he had a point to prove to Arteta and Arsenal. It was a lovely pass for Nicolas Pepe’s goal.”
TBR’s view – What do Arsenal do this summer?
Do they cash in on Aubameyang and get his enormous wages off the bill, given that he is clearly not performing to the standard required of someone on his pay cheque? Or do Arsenal give him another season – and place their faith in him?
Realistically, what kind of figure can Arsenal get for Aubameyang? He turns 32 in June and although he has a contract until the summer of 2023, Arsenal may have to accept that anything over £20million is a near impossibility.
If Arsenal cash in, they will have to accept a small fee – one that certainly will not be able to replace Aubameyang. Surely, Arsenal have got to keep him and find out what the issue is going forward.