It is understandable, that as an Arsenal fan base, we are excited by and wrapped up in the Aubameyang story. The Gabon international has been one of the most potent strikers in the last few years in one of Europe’s top leagues and it would undoubtedly be exciting to see if he could repeat his success in Germany in the Premier League. However should we not get the deal over the line this week with Dortmund I am not sure it is the disaster it will be made to be.
Yes we have sold Alexis and also Walcott but both have primarily assisted and scored as supporting strikers and not as our main solo striker. So have replaced only one of the two exits with Mhkitaryan but in truth Walcott has not featured much in the Premier League at least. Yes we absolutely need to replace the quota of goals and assists that Alexis contributed and I am very confident a happy Mhkitaryan can certainly tale up some of the slack.
However the primary issue surely has to be creating chances for our record signing Alexandre Lacazette, or are we giving up on the Frenchman already? We have all seen the quality and relaxed nature of Laca’s finishing and his quick feet the box but we have equally seen his confidence begin to dip. A quick look at his stats shows us that so far at Arsenal in the Premier League Laca is only averaging 2.3 shots per match. At Lyon over the past few years he has averaged just over 3. Even last year he scored 28 goals in Ligue 1 he was at 2.8 attempts per match.
There seems that, whist he is not blameless and still adjusting to a tougher league, Lacazette, having watched Arsenal admiringly from across the Chanel, might reasonable have expected his team mates at have created more chances for him and found more of his runs in the channels and in behind. So while I have little doubt that Aubameyang is, in the short term, given his age, and upgrade on Lacazette, he too won’t succeed feeding off scraps.
So perhaps if Giroud now fit and staying as an alternative to Lacazette the club need to consider the supply line as well. Our new Armenian play-maker and Ozil together is mouth-watering, but do not know what the future holds for our German superstar and the cover is presently Iwobi, Welbeck and Reiss Nelson.
If for whatever reason, having agreed personal terms with the Aubameyang camp. Arsenal cannot agree a deal with BVB, then perhaps they should swiftly redirect their efforts to securing creativity. If we move back to the comforts zone of 4231 we need another top talent in the 3. The alternative is to push Aaron Ramsey up as we some success in 2014/15 but I am sure a player like Mahrez or Lemar would change the creative dynamic and the flow of our football far more dramatically and increase the supply line to our chance starved Frenchman. You only have to look at Man City and Liverpool in attack to observe with some envy the merit of combining pace with guile behind the striker.
If we conclude the PEA deal I am not sure what that would mean for Lacazaette, as I genuinely cannot see a true two striker system being played under Wenger. The only way that would happen would be with the likes of Ozil or Mhkitaryan playing closer to the main striker in a 352 in the way Hazard is often employed by Conte for Chelsea. Lacazette simply does not have the vision and creativity for that second striker role.
So there we have it in my opinion – Pay up and sign PEA as an upgrade on Lacazette or move on swiftly and add a third top class wide creator to give the Frenchman a fair chance to succeed and live up to his price tag.