He may have gone from hero to zero for Arsenal in their Europa League clash with Olympiacos, but keeping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a “must” for Mikel Arteta and the Gunners.
That’s according to former Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince, who has spoken about the importance of the Gabon striker to Arsenal.
Aubameyang is currently the Gunners’ top scorer this season, with his strike against Olympiacos taking his tally to 20 in all competitions for Arsenal in the 2019/20 campaign.
And Ince said that it is vital for Arsenal moving forward that they keep hold of their top scorer, whose future has been the subject of speculation amid reported interest from Barcelona with his current contract running out at the end of the 2020/21 season.
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“When I look at their defence, I think he needs at least two transfer windows,” he said, speaking on BT Sport’s Europa League highlights programme after the Gunners exited the competition.
“But he [Mikel Arteta] needs to keep hold of Aubameyang, that’s a must.”
Aubameyang was, however, guilty of a glaring miss in the closing stages of the game at the Emirates Stadium, which would have put Arsenal through.
But Ince said that was a shock to him, as well as to the Arsenal fans, his team-mates, former Gunners stars and others watching on.
“I felt sorry for [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, because if it wasn’t for him they wouldn’t have got back into the tie,” Ince said.
“I couldn’t believe it. He just has to hit the target. It looks like he tries to put too much power into it, just a little sidefoot and into the bottom corner.
“If you wanted it to fall to anybody, he was your man, but he was distraught after the game, and rightly so, because they are out of Europe again.”