Former Arsenal star Paul Merson has raised one main reservation that he has with the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gabon international joined the Gunners in a deal worth £56m on deadline day, as per BBC Sport, becoming the club’s most expensive signing ever.
In turn, with that comes major expectations, particularly when combined with his goalscoring record at Borussia Dortmund having bagged 141 goals in 213 games for the Bundesliga giants.
However, as he prepares to turn 29 later this year, Merson believes that one key strength in his game which makes him so dangerous could be set to decline in the coming years and that’s his pace.
“If Aubameyang finds anything like the form he found at Dortmund last year, they’ve got a bargain. They have,” Merson told Sky Sports, as quoted by The Express.
“The problem is he’s 28, his game is really about sheer pace, he’s lightning. I don’t know too many people that get quicker when they get older at 28 and that’s going to be the problem.”
That’s a fair point in truth from Merson, as it’s only natural that Aubameyang will lose that element of his game over time and it will force him to adjust how he plays.
Whether or not he’s clever enough to make that happen and adapt his game to the Premier League with his pace on the decline in the coming years to continue scoring goals for Arsenal remains to be seen.
However, in the short term, Arsene Wenger has secured the services of one of the most prolific strikers in Europe and so surely he’ll be focusing on getting the best out of him in the more immediate future and building around him to help him remain as effective as possible.
Given the majority of Aubameyang’s goals for Dortmund came in the box, losing his pace may not be as damaging as it would seem if he keeps that killer instinct in front of goal.