The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at rumours linking Arsenal superstar Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a shock move to arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
In a season that can be genuinely described as disappointing, the upcoming summer transfer window is going to be a key one for Tottenham Hotspur, as they not only search for a new manager to replace Jose Mourinho but also brace themselves for the departure of talismanic forward Harry Kane.
There is no secret that the Englishman has been left frustrated by the club’s lack of success in domestic and European competitions. His plight could be made worse by the fact that the team may not even qualify for Europe at all next season, especially after stumbling to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Leeds United.
Daniel Levy, therefore, needs to rebuild his team in the summer and most importantly, find a replacement for Kane.
If recent reports from Calciomercato are to be believed, though, the Lilywhites are apparently eyeing a shock move for Arsenal superstar Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, believing that the Gabonese international could fill in the shoes of the talismanic forward.
It is bizarre speculation, but one that could certainly excite the Spurs fan. And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look at Aubameyang’s current situation at Arsenal and how Tottenham could come into the picture, in this upcoming summer transfer window.
Does the move make sense?
From a sporting perspective, Aubameyang hasn’t had the best of seasons at Arsenal, which is rather surprising as the forward had ended the 2019/20 campaign on a positive note despite being played out in a wide attacking role by Mikel Arteta.
This term, the Gabonese international found it difficult to get himself involved in the game. While he was always a menace on the counter, it appears the opponents were rather clever in operating with a low block that negated the attacker’s pace, effectively preventing him from making in behind the backline.
They also man-marked Arsenal attackers tightly, making it difficult for someone like Aubameyang to have much freedom in possession. It was quite prevalent throughout the most part of the campaign for the ex-Dortmund striker, who scored just one goal in his first twelve matches in the Premier League.
It reflected poorly on his confidence, and even Arteta had to shift him to a central role. Unfortunately, the striker continued to struggle, although the club’s main issue was the lack of chances created in the final third.
As we head to the final few matches of this Premier League campaign, Aubameyang has netted only ten goals, three of which came in the win over Leeds United. It is not an impressive tally at all, for a player of his calibre, but that is exactly where Tottenham could swoop in.
From a tactical perspective, Aubameyang could be an ideal fit for a Spurs side that rely heavily on counter-attacks. In Harry Kane, Son-Heung-Min and Gareth Bale, they have a deadly attacking trio that is capable of getting the better of any defence in the world.
Although the departure of Kane could significantly weaken the strength of that attack, someone like Aubameyang could certainly thrive, alongside Son as the ex-Bundesliga stars are explosive runners and much like Kane, are quite excellent finishers.
How Aubameyang and Son fit in at Tottenham could largely depend on the new manager, but given the recent trend and the few positives taken from Jose Mourinho’s short spell in charge of the club, Levy will certainly a fancy who prefers a counter-attacking approach.
Is Aubameyang a realistic option for Tottenham?
In order to understand the likeliness of this potential transfer, it is important to dig a little bit of history regarding players who move moved from Arsenal to Tottenham or the other way around.
Unfortunately, there are not many, with Sol Campbell arguably being the biggest “defector”, when he moved from Tottenham to Arsenal.
The now 46-year-old was usually a consistent feature in Spurs’ defensive system, but much like Kane, the club’s lack of success tempted him to move to Arsenal in the summer of 2001.
He enjoyed immense success at Arsenal, winning two league titles and three FA Cups at Highbury while being a part of the famous “Invincible” during the 2003/04 campaign.
Pat Jennings, too, was a major footballing figure in England in his time, but it took the fans by storm when the goalkeeper, who spent 13 years at Tottenham, moved to Arsenal in 1977.
Although the move was made during the final phase of his career, Jennings went on to play eight professional seasons at Arsenal – making 82 competitive appearances before rejoining Spurs in another bizarre move.
In Aubameyang’s case, though, such a move could appear to be almost impossible as the financial growth of the Premier League has made transfers between top English clubs almost an unlikely phenomenon.
The Gabonese international’s move to Tottenham would cause an unprecedented level of animosity among the Arsenal fans, as the forward is currently the club’s captain and it hasn’t been long when he committed his future at Emirates by signing a new contract.
What Should Be Tottenham’s Play Here?
With Aubameyang a seemingly unlikely target, it goes without that Tottenham Hotspur need to set their sights on other available alternatives. The Calciomercato report already suggests that the Lilywhites are keeping a close eye on Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak as well as Youssef En-Nesyri of Sevilla.
Both of these players have proved themselves in Laliga, though should Daniel Levy look for a player with experience in English football, Ivan Toney of Brentford might not be a bad option, having lightened up the Championship this season.
Indeed, the 25-year-old has netted 30 goals in just 44 matches, helping the Bees finish third as they once again try their luck in the promotion playoff. Their repeated failure in the promotion fight, though, should allow Tottenham to sign the striker from a cut-price this summer.
Elsewhere, the north London giants might also want to keep an eye on Sasa Kalajdzic of VfB Stuttgart. The tall forward has already netted 15 goals this term and was linked with a move to Liverpool.
He could be an ideal option to replace Kane, due to his aerial abilities that could fit in nicely in the Premier League. He could be available for a relatively cheap as well, though a lot could depend on the striker’s performance in the upcoming Euros.