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Gary Neville hammers Arsenal board over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang situation

(Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Arsenal

Gary Neville hammers Arsenal board over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang situation

Gary Neville has told Sky Sports’ The Football Show (Wednesday, 09:40am) that Arsenal’s board made a mistake in handing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a contract to 2021 – having signed him only three years earlier.

Aubameyang was a £56million signing in January 2018 from Borussia Dortmund and the striker has since been handed the Arsenal captaincy, scoring 61 goals in 97 league and cup appearances for the north London side.

However, Aubameyang’s £180,000-a-week (Sun) contract is due to expire in just over 12 months time, and that has seen a whole host of sides become interested. Indeed, The Sun claim Arsenal may accept offers of £20million.

 

Given the furore around Aubameyang’s future, Neville spoke of the mistake the Gunners board have made over his contract – with the north London side only handing the Gabonese ace a three-and-a-half-year deal in January 2018.

(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

“Arsenal find themselves in this position far too often,” Neville said. “A three-year deal for a player that cost £60million? You would at least want that fourth year so at least you could control him – especially if he does well in his first two seasons.

“So that was a mistake made by Arsenal over Aubameyang from day one. There in this position because of previous mistakes, the players are going to call the shots.”

TBR’s view – Should Arsenal have handed him a longer deal?

It is easy to say now that Aubameyang should have been initially given a longer deal, or an extended deal soon after he completed a move to the Emirates. But Neville also makes an excellent point.

To spend such a figure on a player and only give him a deal for three full seasons is poor from the Gunners board. If the Gunners felt that Aubameyang could only offer them quality until 2021, they should have not spent so much money in signing the African ace.

Yes, a longer deal was needed. Perhaps not to keep him playing, but to at least give Arsenal the ability to sell him for full price this summer – rather than a potential cut-price figure.

(Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

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