As the summer transfer window draws near, sportswriters, tabloids, and newspapers are pushing the rumour reel into overdrive and speculating on which players are going to make the move to big-name clubs. Unsurprisingly, one such player being on the list is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gabon striker has been heavily linked with a move away from the Emirates and the obvious reason being the lack of silverware. It’s no secret that Arsenal wants to keep hold of their most prized asset, but reports suggest that Aubameyang could be persuaded to sign for another club.
As the goal-getter moves towards the exit door, Arsenal should start looking at options to replace the striker. Let’s have a look at some of the options that the Gunners can sign in the summer transfer window.
Wilfred Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Arsenal were previously in for Wilfred Zaha before the start of the 2019/20 season, but pulled out after the £80 million-plus valuation of Zaha by Crystal Palace was deemed too expensive by the Gunners. One of the reasons for this valuation being his large sell-on clause (25%) going towards Manchester United from a potential sale.
With a departure for Aubameyang seemingly imminent, the door should be re-opened for Arsenal to try to re-capture the Crystal Palace forward. One benefit of signing Zaha is that he and Nicolas Pepe both play for the Ivory Coast National football team, so these two could make a good pairing for Arsenal while playing together for both club and country.
Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid)
Arsenal came very close to signing Thomas Lemar in 2017, having a late attempt turned down by him while he was at Monaco. The French midfielder has struggled at Atletico Madrid after joining the Los Rojiblancos in 2018 and has been linked to Tottenham and Arsenal while being at the Metropolitano.
It’s a no-brainer that Thomas Lemar is a talented player, portrayed by his time at Monaco where he won the 2016/17 Ligue 1 title while reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League the same season. With Lemar struggling at Atletico Madrid, the Gunners could go for him at a lowered transfer fee (which would benefit the Gunners) and he could solve any left-wing head-aches which Arsenal could face with Aubameyang’s potential exit.
Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth)
The Bournemouth player’s contract is running out and is set to become a free agent as of 30th June. With seven goals and 14 assists during the 18/19 season, Fraser will certainly be a worthy addition for Arsenal.
With Arsenal, Tottenham, and Liverpool rumoured to be interested in him, it would be a shrewd move to go for Fraser, and Arsenal would not have to pay a transfer fee for the Bournemouth winger.
Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona)
With Neymar regularly linked with a Barcelona return, Coutinho returning from loan at Bayern Munich and Dembele struggling to prove himself at Barcelona amidst injuries, if Arsenal were to sell Aubameyang, Dembele would be a high-quality replacement on the left-hand side of the field for Arsenal.
The young Barcelona forward has great potential with exceptional speed and dribbling qualities. Therefore, switching to the Emirates for a regular game time would more make sense for Dembele.
Factoring in the recent reports concerning Barcelona that the club are open to selling players if acceptable offers were to roll in, Ousmane Dembele would be a suitable and sensible replacement for Aubameyang, if he should leave Arsenal.
Alexis Claude-Maurice (OGC Nice)
A much lesser-known option, Alexis Claude-Maurice was sought by Arsenal at the start of the 2019/20 season. After impressing at Lorient, the same club Guendouzi was playing for before making the switch to Arsenal, the 21-year-old forward made the switch to OGC Nice in Ligue 1.
The OGC Nice front-man is a technically gifted player with flexibility, great dribbling attributes, and positional awareness. Alexis Claude-Maurice might be a gamble, but it is definitely a worthy one, considering the OGC Nice forward being a mere €8 million bargain.
Another player that deserves to be mentioned is Odsonne Edouard of Celtic FC who has long been touted as a potential replacement having already raked in 28 goals in all competitions for the Scottish Champions before matches being called off and the season being drawn to an early conclusion in the Scottish Premiership.