Former Arsenal star Paul Merson believes the Gunners should keep hold of the services of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang next season regardless of whether he signs a new contract or not.
The Gabon international has less than 17 months remaining on his existing deal with the club but so far, there has been no progress in terms of negotiating a new contract.
As a result, there is the possibility of Aubameyang being sold when he enters the final year of his deal but Merson feels the Gunners should run down the player’s contract.
“I thought Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would be about 31, 32 when he left, and if I was Arsenal I’d keep him in the summer. I’d keep him and say, you know what, give him what you can next year and get us into the Champions League and you can go for free. It’s hard to buy goals, and he’s a natural scorer,” he told Sky Sports.
Aubameyang has definitely been the standout performer in the attacking department this term and he has already amassed 16 goals across all competitions for the club.
Obviously, the 30-year-old holds the ambition of playing Champions League football during the backend of his career and the Gunners still have a chance of offering him the same in order to renew his contract.
A 10-point deficit to the top four remains steep at the moment with the club’s tendency to draw games, but the gap could be reduced with a winning run right after the winter break.
Otherwise, the Gunners can still push for the Europa League title to guarantee a place in next season’s Champions League, but that remains a lottery at the moment with the good competition in the knockouts.
Should the Gunners miss out on Champions League football once again, the board would definitely have a difficult decision to make on Aubameyang’s future, given he could leave on a free transfer in July 2021.
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