Arsenal have finally landed their main transfer target in the winter window: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. It’s taken quite a while and a lot of effort, but the Gunners deserve to be congratulated.
It’s always dangerous to judge on superficial appearances, but Auba looks so delighted to have signed for Arsenal that you’d have to guess that he’ll give this new ‘gig’ everything he’s got. Judging by his video highlights, the Gabon international striker certainly can hit the net from anywhere, but especially inside the area. If the rumour that Ozil has signed a new deal is true, then Arsenal can expect plenty of goals from the new arrival.
However, Arsenal fans have recently learned to expect the worst on the pitch, particularly after the most recent embarrassing away defeat at Swansea. Quite whether Auba can arrest the slide remains to be seen, but it’s hats off to the backroom staff that landed, which I understand includes Ivan Gazidis and Sven Mislintat. Whoever was involved in negotiating the biggest deal in Arsenal’s history should take a bow!
From a PR perspective, a new signing was much-needed, with the fans irate at the club’s perceived lack of activity on the transfer front. From a footballing point of view, an injection of something was needed as the team have recently taken the words ‘stale’ and ‘stagnant’ to new heights. It’s not as if the players are not talented. It’s more a case of what some people call ‘CBA’ (Can’t Be Arsenal) syndrome.
Auba gives the impression that he will lead from the front and make opponents’ lives a nightmare. That is, of course, what all Gunners fans are hoping for. On the other hand, if it goes pear-shaped, the supporters can’t moan as at least cash has been splashed.
Then again, it has to be said that funds have been generated by sales, with Giroud set to leave to join Chelsea for around £18m (and few fans are happy about that!). Money from the transfers of Walcott and Coquelin have also boosted the Arsenal coffers, so Aube sounds ‘well affordable’, bearing all of that in mind.
Some fans have said this signing heaps huge amounts of pressure on Arsene Wenger to up his game as, now Aube’s on board big things will be expected. However, this season is too late to mount a title challenge and even fourth spot looks out of reach.
Therefore, whatever happens, I believe Wenger will see out his contract. Only then, will he move upstairs and continue to control the club to some degree. I simply think Wenger is too wily to be ousted. It seems that, for the most part, he has surrounded himself with people he can dominate.
It’s still hard to fathom why Martin Keown wasn’t kept on by the club, when he helped organise the team defensively. Keown, rightly or wrongly, got a lot of credit for his role at the club and the next anyone knew, the former Arsenal defender was no longer needed.
Maybe one day, when Wenger writes his much-anticipated memoirs, we’ll get an inside look at one side of the story, at least. Until then, we can only speculate.