Premier League side Arsenal have made a call of holding onto Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if they do not get the merited transfer value for the Gabon international this summer.
If this plan is really set to be executed then Arsenal will most plausibly lose the centre-forward on a free transfer at the end of the 2020-21 season. And according to pundit Jamie Carragher, this decision from the Gunners management might just be borderline logical.
Carragher said on Sky Sports: “It’s interesting because Liverpool were in the same situation as Arsenal towards the end of my career when you’re just missing out on the top-four.
“It’s okay to have rules like ‘we never let a player go on a Bosman ruling’, but if you’re Mikel Arteta, have you got more chance of getting back in the Champions League if he stays?
“That’s the decision they have to make. At this stage, there’s no doubt that Aubameyang is too good for Arsenal. We had that at Liverpool with Luis Suarez and certain other players.
“You’re desperate to keep hold of them because you want to build around those players. If they go you feel like you’re starting all over again.
“That will be a decision for them. It’s okay saying ‘if he doesn’t want to be there, let him go’. But it’s not as easy when you’re at that club and you have a player of such star quality who will be there or thereabouts for the Golden Boot every year.
“It’s not easy to find goalscorers so I’d keep Aubameyang and see what you can do, see if you can bring players in around him and hopefully have a successful season and convince him to stay over the next 12 months.
“If not, it still gives Arsenal a greater chance of getting back in the top-four and that’s where they need to be.”
On the other hand, Gary Neville has come out to slam the Arsenal board claiming that the management should have been more proactive in handing Aubameyang a lengthier deal when he arrived at the club two years ago.
‘Was he only given a three-year contract to start with? That’s the strange thing for me. If you pay £60m for someone, to have him leaving or in a position to leave… Arsenal find themselves in this position far too often,’ Neville told Sky Sports, via Metro.
‘I think a three-year deal for a player who cost £60 million… you’d at least want that fourth year so you can at least control him if he does well for the first two seasons. That’s the mistake that was made on day one.
‘The fact they’re in this position now is through mistakes that were made previously. Arsenal are in a position where the player is going to call the shots.’