With rumours persisting about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future at the Emirates, Arsenal may soon find themselves needing to bring in a replacement for their star man.
The Gabonese striker has been carrying the weight of Arsenal’s goal-scoring responsibilities since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund in 2018, so if he is to leave the club, it is imperative Mikel Arteta finds a player who could either match or better the striker’s achievements in red and white.
One name that emerged as an unlikely target for the Gunners in Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi with reports suggesting the Italian side are prepared to offer the Argentine hitman in exchange for Aubameyang.
The 27-year-old has been with the Nerrazurri for seven years following his move from Serie A rivals Sampdoria in 2013, scoring 124 goals in all competitions in that time, putting him up in eighth on the club’s all time top scorer list.
However, after falling out of favour under Antonio Conte, losing the captain’s armband, and the club’s purchase of Romelu Lukaku, Icardi has spent this season on loan at Paris Saint-Germain.
Icardi’s departure from the Italian club seems imminent but whether Arsenal is the destination remains to be seen.
If he does end up at the Emirates, Icardi’s goal record will be of no concern with the hitman scoring goals wherever he’s been.
His first year in Serie A as a teenager with Sampdoria saw him score 10 times, helping the club fend off relegation and attract the attention of the Milanese giants.
At the San Siro, Icardi would win the Serie A Golden Boot twice including scoring 29 times in 2017/18 as he shared the honour with Ciro Imobile.
Beyond his goalscoring feats, his overall influence would earn him club captaincy in 2015, aged just 22.
Even after losing his place in the side last season, the striker would flourish in Paris scoring 20 times in all competitions – including a League Cup hat-trick against St Etienne – as PSG topped the table and were awarded Ligue Un following the suspension of football.
Currently, Arsenal are down in eighth when it comes to goals scored in the division despite Aubamyang’s presence.
The Gunners are thirteenth when it comes to big chances created with 38, and fourteenth when it comes to shots with 312 – behind the likes of relegation threatened Norwich and Aston Villa.
Icardi’s impressive finishing would likely go some way to improving these stats in Arsenal’s favour.
Comparing league records, Aubameyang leads with 17 Premier League goals to Icardi’s 12 in Ligue Un, however, with Icardi’s goals coming from fewer minutes played (1268 to 2305 via Football Critic), he averages a goal every 105 minutes compared to the Arsenal man’s 135.
Should a move materialise however, Arteta would almost certainly need to change the way Arsenal play.
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