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Why Arsenal must sign Aubameyang - and how he can help Lacazette

COMMENT: Arsenal's Premier League campaign has been largely underwhelming thus far considering they look poised to miss out on a top four spot for the second time in a row, and the second time in Arsene Wenger's 21-year stay at the club.

The French tactician has driven the Gunners into mediocrity following his indecisiveness over the sale of Alexis Sanchez last summer. The Chilean is now set for move to Manchester United as Arsenal look to avoid losing him for free at the end of the season.

In a bid to salvage his side's campaign, Wenger has turned his focus to Brazilian midfielder, Malcom as well as a popular name on the European football scene, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Gabon international has been one of the best players in the Bundesliga over the past few seasons, having utilised his blistering pace to tear defences apart and etch his name amongst the best strikers in modern day football.

He has a knack for doing things differently as evidenced by his celebrations and choice of attire to the African Player of the Year Awards, but if anything, his unorthodox nature would make him a real fan favourite in the Premier League.

Wenger, though, would probably be hoping Aubameyang can enthral Arsenal fans with much more than his extravagance should the club manage to acquire his services this month as the North London outfit are in need of a regular goal threat amid Alexandre Lacazette's poor run of form.

Having bagged 31 goals in 32 Bundesliga appearances last season and considering he's already garnered 13 goals in 15 games, the 28-year-old would undoubtedly introduce a new dynamic to Arsenal's attack.

Aubameyang's style of play is centred on chasing down through balls and getting in behind the opponent's defensive line with his speed, a lot like what we've seen from Jamie Vardy at Leicester.

The Gabon international tends to get isolated up front when passing lanes are blocked due to his inability to drop deep and dribble past players as evidenced by his 19.23% take-on success rate thus making him over-reliant on his teammates' through balls.

Along with the phenomenal Robert Lewandowski, Aubameyang sits atop the Bundesliga charts for most clear-cut chances converted (12), but that stat is somewhat deceiving given he has also missed the most clear-cut chances in the Bundesliga (19).

For an Arsenal side that's struggled to convert chances, his missed opportunities will prove to be a worrying stat as the Gunners look to claw their way back into the top four. It can be overlooked, though, as a result of his ability to get into goalscoring positions with relative ease thanks to his insane pace.

But where would Aubameyang's arrival leave Lacazette?

Alexandre Lacazette has already been labelled a flop after just half a season in the Premier League, and with good reason, considering he's failed to produce the goods for Arsenal one too many times.

But lest we forget, he was signed for a club-record fee of £46m hence relegating him to the bench in a bid to accommodate Aubameyang who would cost a similar amount may not be viable.

Arsenal's poor start to the season coupled with Aubameyang's potential arrival could see Wenger switch from his current 3-4-3 system to a 4-3-1-2 formation as it would allow the French tactician to field both Lacazette and Aubameyang up front whilst Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who is set to be swapped for Sanchez takes on the number 10 role thus resulting in Mesut Ozil being deployed as a regista alongside Granit Xhaka and Jack Wilshere in a three-man midfield.

A double act of Lacazette and Aubameyang could prove to be the panacea to Arsenal's inability to convert their chances. The Gunners would be more flexible in the attacking third having both strikers form a triangular link with Mkhitaryan.

Phillip Ekuwem
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Phillip Ekuwem

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