With uncertainty still seemingly surrounding the future of Arsenal striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, former player-turned-pundit, Tim Sherwood, believes the Gunners have a ready-made replacement already in situ.
Though the arrival of Nicolas Pepe overshadowed that of Gabriel Martinelli, both players joining the north London outfit last summer, it’s the exciting 18-year-old that has everyone talking.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to the training ground at Arsenal and what’s big on his [Arteta’s] priority list is to improve the players,” Sherwood told Premier League Productions, cited by the Daily Mirror.
“No matter who they are even if they’re ready-made international footballers it’s to make them better and what he’s not afraid to do is look into their academy.
“They’ve got a lot of good young players there. Bukayo Saka is the one that’s come to the front and Gabriel Martinelli will eventually take over from Aubameyang [particularly] if they can’t keep hold of him.”
The expected financial issues that will beset most clubs because of the coronavirus pandemic is likely to mean that Mikel Arteta will have to look to Arsenal’s academy or to the players he already has to take them forward next season.
If Aubameyang does decide his own future is, ultimately, elsewhere, then the likelihood of him being moved on this summer for a fee is high.
Though being thrust into the front line to replace the man who has guaranteed goals for the Gunners ever since he’s been there will present its own pressures, Martinelli has proved to this point that he can do the business when called upon.
A rough diamond, if Arteta can smooth out the youngster’s edges, then Arsenal might well find that what at first appears to be a tricky situation to negotiate, that of Aubameyang’s potentially imminent departure, actually ends up working in their favour.