Former Arsenal legend, Ian Wright, is just the latest ex-player to put pressure on the club’s board regarding tying down Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to another deal.
If the north Londoners are unable to thrash out terms during this summer, and because the Gabonese striker can walk away for free this time next year, the likelihood is that Arsenal will look to move him on for a fee in the upcoming transfer window.
That’s clearly something that Wright doesn’t want to see happen, but the ex-England international has suggested that the ball is very firmly in the club’s court now as far as doing a deal is concerned.
“If you read between the lines with Mikel Arteta as well it seems that it is down to the club now to do the right thing and make him the kind of offer to make him stay,” Wright said on BBC Radio Five Live and cited by football.london.
“You would think in this current climate, whatever team is going to try and take him you don’t know what their financial issue is. I am sure it is not just money and he will probably be talking about moving forward and wanting to win things as well.
“A goalscorer of his calibre is wanting to win things and you are looking at Arsenal in the current climate and they are looking they are going to have to Academy a little bit more because the money is not there like it used to be years and years ago.
“I know Arsenal will probably make him the very best deal they can make in this current time. But whether it is good enough or not, I am hoping it is.
“When you listen to him saying it “it is up to them” and what they do. That says to me he has told them what he wants and now it is up to them to try and match what he wants.”
With age a factor in any potential deal – Aubameyang will be 31 in a few days time – there may be a reticence from the Gunners to offer lucrative terms to a player who is edging towards his retirement.
However, there’s little doubt that he brings a real threat in front of goal, as his 17 goals in 26 games, per transfermarkt, would attest.
When all is said and done, age shouldn’t be a barrier if a player is still doing the business for which he is handsomely remunerated.
Aubameyang is clearly holding up his end of the bargain so the issue would appear to be how much the Arsenal board value him.