Former Arsenal forward Alan Smith has been discussing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and what would happen if last seasons Golden Boot winner was to leave the Emirates in the next transfer window, whenever that will be.
Smith accepts that there are at least two top-quality youngsters in Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah that could fill the hole that would be left by Auba but the former England striker questions if they are ready just yet.
He also points out that the club will be restricted in bringing any new players in because of the finances at the club.
“It’s asking a lot of Nketiah or Martinelli, as talented as they both are, to step into the shoes of a tried-and-tested goals corer like Aubameyang, who has been playing at the top level for a lot of years,” Smith told Sky Sports.
“If Aubameyang did leave I’m sure they would be looking to bring some experience in but they are restricted by their finances. They’ve also got Alexandre Lacazette but his goal output has tailed off this season compared to his first at the club, so that would be a concern.
“But there’s no question they’ve got talent inside the club. I’m a big fan of Martinelli in particular. I think he’s got a great attitude and a wonderful eye for goal as we’ve seen on a number of occasions already.
“There’s definitely a lot to come from him but you have to be careful you don’t put too much responsibility on young shoulders. They need to be nurtured.”
Whatever way one dresses it up Arsenal will take a hit if Aubameyang leaves in the summer. To replace him with a player that is as consistent would cost a fortune and Martinelli, Nketiah and Lacazette, for one reason or another, will struggle to replicate Aubameyang next season in terms of goals.
The bottom line is this, Arsenal will have to agree to a new contract with Aubameyang or they will end up losing out in some form, there is no good alternative.