Paul Merson has urged Arsenal talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to snub an exit and stay with the club amid uncertainty over his future at the Emirates.
The 30-year-old has been a fundamental figure for the Gunners since his arrival, bagging 61 goals and 13 assists in just 97 appearances for the club.
Although Arsenal have continued to struggle to qualify for the Champions League and for trophies in that time, Mikel Arteta’s arrival has seemingly put them on the right track after a positive start to his tenure.
However, with Aubameyang’s current contract set to expire in 2021, it remains to be seen if he is ready to put pen to paper on a contract renewal or if Arsenal are forced to consider a sale at some point to avoid losing him for nothing when his expires, with the Metro noting that Barcelona are said to be interested.
Merson is of the clear opinion that the Gabon international should be staying at Arsenal for the foreseeable future as he sees the Gunners as the best option for him at this stage of his career.
It comes after controversial comments from the Gabon FA chief, as per ESPN, as he urged Aubameyang to consider joining a more ambitious club.
“It’s easy saying move to another, more ambitious club and win stuff but there are not a lot of trophies to win, especially with the two phenomenal football clubs Liverpool and Manchester City,” Merson told Sky Sports. “I was very fortunate to play for Arsenal for a long time and make no mistake about it, it’s a great club. The grass is not always green on the other side, you have got to be careful.
“He’s going to play every week at Arsenal and when you are coming towards the end of your career, two or three years to go, you have got to enjoy your football and play.
“If I were Aubameyang’s agent I would be stressing that he is at one of the best clubs in the world, a phenomenal football club that has as much chance as anybody, bar Manchester City and Liverpool, winning something. For me, I would stay.”
It’s a fair argument from Merson, although he will no doubt be slightly biased towards Arsenal given his stint as a player at the club.
Nevertheless, it’s a big decision for Aubameyang and unless there is an obvious option elsewhere where he would be a central figure and could compete for trophies, he may well be better off committing to the Gunners and being a leading figure in Arteta’s plans moving forward.
That’s easier said than done though, especially when Arsenal are down in ninth place in the Premier League table as things stand, eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea with just nine games to go as it remains to be seen when the campaign resumes amid the coronavirus crisis.