Former Man United ace makes top four prediction after Aubameyang’s transfer away from Arsenal

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Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has spoken out on the race for the top four this season after the January transfer window.

Chadwick previously talked up Arsenal’s chances of clinching Champions League qualification, but thinks they may now lack the goals to stay up there until the end of the season after the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The ex-Red Devil believes it’s all important for the teams involved to get into the top four, but now feels that his old club Man Utd should have it in them to edge it.

“I think Aubameyang, even at the age he is, still has the talent to go to any league in Europe. Barcelona are probably not the force they once were, but it’s a good signing for where they are at the moment,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside.

“I think it’s a case of Arteta showing what he’s about to a certain extent – it doesn’t matter who you are, if discipline and standards aren’t going to be met then there isn’t a place for you at the football club.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in action for Arsenal

“It’s a risky move in terms of, he’s their best goal-scorer, but at the same time he wasn’t even on the bench leading up to the New Year. I’m sure in an ideal world Arteta would’ve liked to bring in a top class striker to replace him, but that’s not been possible.

“It’ll be interesting to see how they go about the rest of the season, they’ve got Lacazette there and some exciting young players, but I’m not sure it’s enough to sustain a real challenge for Champions League football.

“There’s not a lot in it … I’d like to see Manchester United get it, they’re in a nice bit of form. They’re probably still the favourites with the squad they’ve got, even if they’ve let some players go.

“You can’t discount Tottenham with Antonio Conte in there. West Ham are there again but we know they fell away towards the end of last season.

“I think the squad United have puts them in a good position for what is an all-important top four finish for all those clubs.”

More Stories Antonio Conte David Moyes Luke Chadwick Mikel Arteta Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Ralf Rangnick

1 Comment

  1. Chadwick makes a good point. Man U have the strongest team out of the top 4 aspirants, with Tottenham, between the manager and the team, second best.

    Arsenal weakened the team in terms of quality and depth in January. Long-term it might put them in a better place to make signings, but the Vlahovic, Isaak, and Guimares failures show that players are not wowed by the club as they once were.

    Arsenal can still buy good players, but they will have to over pay to get them (as Newcastle did to land Guimares). The fantasy that Arsenal will land a 20 goal scorer for at or below market prices is a serious delusion. Arsenal paid a premium for Pepe and both pundits and fans have been whinging about it ever since, despite the fact that he outperformed Saka in 2021.

    It does no good to clear out old players if the players the club can and are willing to buy are no better. Consider some ‘success’ stories.

    Arsenal paid $50 million for Ben White and he’s been good (not great). Is he really a better buy than Saliba (currently being paid to play and star for Marseilles) at 28 million?

    Aaron Ramsdale has played very well, but he cost $30.8 million. Have Arsenal won more with him in goal than they would have with Leno ($27.5 m)?

    Nuno Tavares ($8.8m) has played a little and been both good and awful. Was that money well spent as a replacement for Sead Kolasinac (free).

    Tomiyasu ($20.5m) has been terrific. Was he really an upgrade on Hector Bellerin (homegrown)? Are the team winning more?

    Martin Odegaard ($38.5) replaced Mesut Ozil (who received every penny of his Arsenal contract), but in the six months of his loan (when Arsenal were paying both players), he never came close to Ozil’s worst year in Red and white. He is having a better year now, but is still a shadow of Ozil’s level as a full-time player at Arsenal.

    Arsenal have replaced players, shipping off veterans for nothing or next to nothing, but the players replacing them have cost a lot of money and are not significant upgrades over the players they are replacing, by any objective measure.

    The two inarguable success stories; Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka, were already Arsenal players when the current manager (and his predecessor) arrived. They cost nothing to acquire.

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