HOW can a club the size of Arsenal keep making the same mistakes?
Their inability to tie down players to longer contracts and see those players leave for small fees must be so irritating for supporters.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joins a long list of talented players that the Gunners board have let run down their contracts.
We’ve seen so many players — most notably Robin van Persie — exit Arsenal because of the board’s decision to neglect serious negotiations with the player before he entered the final year of his contract.
When are the Arsenal board going to realise that it’s the players not the club that now have the power.
Yes, in years gone by, when Arsenal were title contenders, the Gunners might have had the power over the players but the North London club now aren’t even serious challengers for a top-four finish.
They aren’t a Barcelona or Real Madrid, clubs that players would do anything to play for, they are a mid-table side, whose two biggest selling points at this time are, that they are in a good location — London — for players to live and that they have a nice stadium.
I would imagine that Aubameyang is a player with ambition. At 31, he doesn’t have many years left to add to his trophy collection. Living in London and playing in a world-class stadium, shouldn’t appeal to him as much as going to a club that are serious about winning trophies and playing in the Champions League.
It should be a no-brainer for the striker, who has described his Arsenal future as his “most important career decision”, Aubameyang should take a page out of Van Persie’s book and leave the club.
The Gabon international could see out the remainder of his contract and leave the club on a free next summer and in the process get a hefty signing on fee from his new club but I don’t believe that at his age, Aubameyang should be wasting another year of his career by staying at Arsenal.
The Gunners still have time to convince him to stay at the club and even if Aubameyang weren’t to sign a new deal, they could still keep him.
They might think that the €25m that clubs would be willing to pay for the striker, is worth losing out on so that they could keep a striker that will get them 20 league goals next season.
The problem that could occur if the Gunners force Aubameyang to stay, is that the player probably won’t be happy and then there is the risk for Arsenal that the player isn’t going to perform.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is ‘pretty positive’ that the club can persuade Aubameyang to sign a new deal at the club and maybe he’s right but it’s going to cost Arsenal a lot of money, money the club seem unwilling to spend.
They could offer the striker the sort of money that makes players sign for a handsome wage instead of success or they might spend millions on signing players that could actually make a difference to the Gunners squad and show Aubameyang that the club are serious about getting back to the top.
The decision to give Mesut Ozil a significant contract still haunts the club.
As long as Ozil remains at Arsenal players like Aubameyang, who is more valuable to the club, are going to demand to be on the same sort of money as the former German international.
Arsenal have made the mistake over and over again regarding letting players' contracts run down but cannot afford to make the same mistake of giving players such a large wage packet especially when they are coming towards the tail end of their career.
The Gunners aren’t going to spend the sort of money either this summer that are going to attract the best players.
They have left themselves with no choice but to sell Aubameyang if they can’t convince him to sign a new deal in the next few weeks, just once it’s not to Manchester United.
If I were Jurgen Klopp, Aubameyang is certainly a player that would interest me.
He will be cheap, Klopp knows him from their time together at Borussia Dortmund and the striker will improve Liverpool’s squad.
Arsenal would be more willing to sell to Liverpool because they aren’t a direct competitor.
The Reds will be challenging for the league and Champions League next season whereas Arsenal will be thinking about the Carabao cup and finishing fourth.
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