Ex-Arsenal star, Charlie Nicholas reckons that keeping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can be compared to winning the FA Cup to Arsenal.
The Gunners want to keep hold of their top scorer, but he has entered the final year of his current deal with them and he has the upper hand in negotiations over a new deal.
A number of teams have been looking to sign him and he might also be considering an exit, especially if Arsenal fails to win the FA Cup.
He claimed that the striker is in a position that he will leave if a club like Barcelona and Real Madrid were to make a move for him.
He added that the Gunners are in a similar dilemma that they were with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez a few years back and they will be wondering if they should offer him a huge salary on a new deal.
He told Sky Sports News: “It’s vital keep hold of him, but if Real Madrid or Barcelona were to show interest in him at his age, and he wants to go, he’ll go. We had to let the best I’ve seen in an Arsenal shirt – Thierry Henry – go because he wanted to join Barca.
“That’s the reality as this guy is a goal machine. When you look back at the wages we gave Mesut Ozil, we had to put up with Alexis Sanchez until we part-exchanged him… this guy is of the same ilk where you’re wondering if it’s worth giving him the big salary.
“Personally, I think it is as there’s very little guarantee in football but the guarantee he gives you when he’s fit is goals. Goals for Arsenal is the main ingredient in the way they play. Arsenal’s duty now is to fix a defence that has been weak for the past six or seven years.
“Gradually, I think Arteta will do that, but the club are still being held to ransom a little bit [over Aubameyang]. If Arsenal are to finally get this [contract] over the line, you give him what he wants, and then Aubameyang still becomes a sellable asset if he then wants to leave in a year.
“But if we run it down, as we did with Aaron Ramsey, you’re just holding on to someone who isn’t entirely committed to the cause. I’m hopeful now that Aubameyang will re-sign – Arsenal, get it over the line! It would be as big a boost as winning the FA Cup. That’s how big it would be.”