The ongoing contract negotiations in pursuit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s signature is reminiscent of the Clash classic hit “Should I stay or should I go.” It’s been a question on Aubameyang’s lips for a while now and it’s a decision that Arsenal supporters are waiting for, good or bad.
The player has certainly been well received at the Emirates and it’s no secret that he enjoys his location and lifestyle, but at 31, Aubameyang has one last top-level move ahead of him. Arsenal gave him the captaincy as an additional incentive, something they do with players they don’t want to lose, but that will not be a factor in Aubameyang’s contract negotiations.
Many feel the striker is destined to go abroad, probably to one of the top Spanish clubs but there is still a sense in some quarters that he wants to remain, regardless of the promise of silverware elsewhere.
Arsenal are looking to secure his services for three years but the player,s advisors are looking at a rolling contract for 12 months and a further 2 years if they achieve qualification to the Champions League. In regards to trophies, something that the media are obsessed with when Aubameyang is mentioned, the player told Sky Sports in March this year:
“I’m a striker so I will defend my side – I don’t think you need trophies to be a top striker”
“Of course, it can help you but we’ve seen a lot of great players that didn’t win trophies but we respect them because of their quality.”
“You don’t need to win trophies but if you win it, it’s better.”
Next, the Gabon FA president Pierre Alain Mounguengui publicly urged Aubameyang to leave the Emirates for a club playing in the Champions League. It was a clumsy piece of uncensored comment that added to the player’s predicament:
“I don’t want to say that Arsenal aren’t ambitious, but Arsenal don’t have ambitions as high as some other clubs as far as Europe is concerned”
Mikel Arteta appears to have tried to personally reassure the striker that his signature could be the catalyst for great things at Arsenal, something that was evident in his optimistic statement regarding Aubameyang’s contract negotiations:
“We have had many discussions with Pierre, his family, and his agent, and I am pretty positive we can find the right agreement for all parties”
“I think it’s our responsibility to make him feel this is the right next step in his career. In order to do that he needs to feel valued.”
The truth is Arsenal are no nearer to adding Aubameyang’s signature to a new contract….yet. Frustrated fans need to remind themselves of the fact that the player is taking so long could be seen as a good thing. He could have refused talks and sent his agent in search of a new deal at another club….he hasn’t.
It’s another typical Arsenal transfer saga, but one that isn’t necessarily decided purely on money and the promise of success. Like so many before him, Aubameyang loves the club but deep down, he wants the accolades. Who can blame him.
This may go to the wire but on a reassuring note, Gabriel Martinelli is waiting in the wings for his opportunity and the crown looks like a good fit.