Paul Merson has told Sky Sports that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is similar to Mesut Ozil, in that he brings very little to the Arsenal side when he is not scoring goals.
Aubameyang is coming in for a lot of criticism after a tough campaign. He has only scored once in the Premier League since mid-February.
His record of 13 goals in all competitions is not terrible, by any means. But given that he is Arsenal’s talisman and scored 44 times across the two previous top flight campaigns, it is no surprise that many fans are getting frustrated with the 31-year-old.
And Merson suggested that his style of play does him few favours when he is struggling for goals.
“I’ve always said, and I’ll stick by it, unless he scores a goal he’s not bringing much more to the party, and he never has,” he told Sky Sports.
“He’s an out and out goal scorer, who plays out wide, and when you play out wide as a footballer, you are working on scraps. You either get the ball so many times you get sick of it or you never see the ball at all, and he’s a goalscorer.
“He’s a bit like Mesut Ozil without the goals. He’s not going to run back and do a fifty-fifty tackle or chase the ball back and get it back for his side.”
Arsenal have won just two of their last six Premier League games. Remarkably, they are also the two fixtures Aubameyang has not started. In fact, he played no part in the North London derby victory.
That may leave Mikel Arteta with some food for thought. Arsenal do not lack quality in the final third. And it may get to the stage where supporters feel that Aubameyang should not be starting.
Having said that, it should come as no surprise if Aubameyang comes up with a crucial goal in the very near future – as Merson went on to note.