John Barnes thinks Arsenal should replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in January, pointing at possible issues with the Gabonese.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is enduring huge problems at Arsenal after missing yet another gilt-edged chance in front of goal. The Arsenal captain came off the bench and could have earned his side a valuable point against Everton had he kept his shot down from close range.
After similar misses in the last few games before last Monday, Mikel Arteta took a hard call and dropped his captain from the lineup for Alexandre Lacazette. The Frenchman, who is expected to leave the club soon, had a lacklustre game leading the line for Arsenal, and former Liverpool great John Barnes insists Arsenal should replace the front duo immediately.
As quoted by Daily Mirror, Barnes has insisted that Arsenal move on from the duo and particularly gave a scathing assessment of the former Golden Boot winner. He said, “Arsenal should look to replace both Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.”
“A move for Alexandre Lacazette from Arsenal has been rumoured for a while, so it’s likely he’ll be moving on. Aubameyang is also on a huge contract and whether he’ll receive that money elsewhere, nobody knows. Things aren’t exactly smooth sailing for Aubameyang at Arsenal. He didn’t start against Everton, and even Eddie Nketiah came on ahead of him.”
Barnes stated there might be a problem with Aubameyang, pointing to Nketiah coming instead of the club captain from the bench. He continued, “Aubameyang is an issue. When you have a young team, you want your senior players to be leaders and Aubameyang, as captain, isn’t displaying those qualities.”
“This is the beginning of the end for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Arsenal career because he’s their club captain, yet Mikel Arteta opted to bring on Eddie Nketiah against Everton instead.”
Barnes concluded by suggesting Aubameyang might lack the necessary leadership qualities. He added, “The problem is, we’re not privy to conversations that happen Monday to Friday. That’s when the manager assesses his squad, the mood of the camp and will look for the players who have those leadership qualities.”
“Football fans only see the team on a Saturday, but the manager knows best, and that’s a telling sign regarding the Aubameyang situation. It’s never clear cut when our favourite players aren’t playing, and that is why I have full trust in the managers when they make big decisions like leaving star players out. Fans will question it but there’s always more than what meets the eye.”
Arsenal face Southampton at the weekend to resume their Premier League duties, and it remains to be seen if Arteta affords his captain another chance in the lineup. With or without Aubameyang, the Gunners need to improve their results after losing three of their last four games in the division.