Could Aubameyang and Pepe Become Mikel Arteta’s Version of Anelka and Henry
Aubameyang’s leaving, Aubameyang’s staying, no ones sure what Aubameyang is up to, but Arteta wants him to stay and remain hopeful. Enough!!!! Under the circumstances, he’s just another problem in a team brimming with issues and if this protracted football drama results in him leaving then, so be it.
Since the rebooted season commenced, he has looked lost and lonely. A troubled man who’s contract negotiations are hampering his ability to deliver and I for one, don’t see that on this form, we’d be any worse off without him. That may be just a toxic reaction to two defeats in a row, one which was expected and the other which we hoped to avoid, but I’m fed up with excuses and failure at the moment.
I looked at my collection of Arsenal shirts the other day, from the beautifully signed 1971 double-winning shirt to the replica from the Invincibles season in 2003/04 with ‘Henry’s’ name on the back, just to remind myself what this club has achieved and how far short it has fallen in recent years.
The reminiscing that led me to Thierry Henry and got me thinking if Aubameyang leaves which he surely will, what if Arteta uses Pepe in a similar role. Henry arrived as a winger from Juventus and was originally intended as a partner for Anelka, but we all know how that worked out (Le Sulk).
Yet, Wenger allowed Henry to flourish in a role that saw him as a traditional striker, roaming hitman, and occasional winger, and the transformation was astonishing. 175 goals in 258 appearances tell part of the story, but it was his ability to mesmerise defences with the assistance of Dennis Bergkamp that put Henry high on a pedestal.
Goals of ingenuity, of opportunism, goals of quality, of guile, and inventiveness. The solo goals, the glittering exchanges, and those against the run of play, all incredibly pleasing on the eye. Could this be the role of Pepe?
Much will depend on finding a creative partner in midfield or another striker who is on the same wavelength, but Pepe has time on his side and an abundance of untapped talent, ignore the price and press.
If Arteta could make an unexpected change and consider the possibilities, Martinelli, Saka and Pepe could deliver the same potency on paper as Liverpool’s much-hyped forward line of Salah, Mané, and Firmino. At this stage of the rebuild, Arteta will have to be fearless and experimental with cash at a premium and the club seemingly in a cyclone of endless chaos.
We know Pepe has pace, but he is also a great striker of the ball and instinctively knows where the goal is. Would it take too much to make the change? I don’t know but if Arteta could employ Pepe in place of Aubameyang, similar to Henry, the rewards could prove phenomenal.