To say Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been a central figure for Arsenal over the last two and a half campaigns is an understatement. Since joining in January 2018, he has scored more goals across all competitions (70) than any other player for a Premier League club.
The Gabon striker has arguably single-handedly spearheaded the north London outfit to two of the three Cup finals that he’s appeared in. His two goals in the FA Cup Final this season helped The Gunners stun London rivals Chelsea and end an almost three-year wait for silverware since the 2017 Community Shield.
Pierre plays a pivotal part
The 31 year-old has been involved in 85 goals in 105 appearances in all competitions (70 goals and 15 assists) since moving to the Emirates. He was one of three African players to share the Premier League golden boot award in the 2018-19 campaign (what was his first full season) with a tally of 22 goals, which he matched this season, as he finished joint-second in the race.
His 22 league goals this term were so integral, they earned his side 19 points and provided 37.5% of their entire tally. Seventeen of which, contributed directly to the outcomes of the games.
This season, the former Borussia Dortmund player also became the quickest player in Arsenal history to score a Premier League half-century, when he netted the opener in a 4-0 win against Norwich City. The milestone came on his 79th league appearance, ensuring the Gabon forward hit the club landmark in four games fewer than any other player.
With his current contract expiring next June, it comes as no surprise that Arsenal fans are eager for the forward to commit his immediate future to the club. However, with the Gabon forward reportedly stalling due to a combination of Champions League aspirations and a lack of high-profile signings at the side, Arsenal will certainly need to recruit at least one new forward, in spite of Aubameyang’s intentions to leave or stay.
Jamie Vardy – Leicester City
Jamie Vardy has been what Aubameyang is to Arsenal for Leicester City. The Englishman has hit double figures for goals in all but one season since The Foxes were promoted to the Premier League. He has scored at least 20 goals in three of the six campaigns, including this one, where his tally of 23 goals saw him earn the Premier League golden boot award.
The 33 year-old played a significant role in Leicester’s 2015-16 Premier League success. He scored 24 goals and provided eight assists that occasion, as he finished second-best alongside Sergio Agüero to Harry Kane in the Golden Boot race, despite playing two games less than his compatriot.
Independent of Aubameyang’s decision, Vardy would be an ideal acquisition. He has many similarities to the Gabon forward, such as his pace, his instinctive nature to make runs in behind defences, his ruthlessness in front of goal, as well as his intricate link-up play with teammates. He can also play out wide like Aubameyang and possesses an aerial threat, making him a good option on the pitch.
Raúl Jiménez – Wolves
Raúl Jiménez has excelled since initially joining the west Midlands outfit on-loan from Benfica in July 2018. The Mexican has been potent as a contributor of goals, scoring 44 times from 98 appearances overall for Wolves, with 18 assists.
This season’s league tally of 17, saw him set a club-record for most goals in a single Premier League campaign, and his ten goals to date in his side’s entire Europa League campaign, has seen the forward score ten more than in his previous term (13 league goals and four FA Cup goals) overall.
Jiménez has unsurprisingly been linked with a host of potential top-four suitors, including the likes of Manchester United. His direct approach, aerial presence and hold-up play is among the best in the league, and Arsenal would certainly benefit from his capabilities.
Edinson Cavani – Free Agent
Edinson Cavani is a free agent after leaving The Parisians following the cancellation of the Ligue 1 campaign, which resulted due to the coronavirus. He is a striker The Gunners know all about, having scored in each of his two appearances against the north London outfit for Paris Saint-Germain in the 2016-17 Champions League.
The Uruguayan has established a prolific record, scoring 341 goals and providing 65 assists from 556 competitive appearances for the likes of PSG (200 goals in 301 appearances), Napoli and Palermo (combined 141 goals in 255 appearances) in all competitions. He has also scored 50 goals in 116 senior games for La Celeste.
Cavani, who has previously been linked with Arsenal, is a player that never gives the defenders a moment’s rest. He always plays off the shoulder of the last man, presses high up the pitch and tussles with players in aerial duels.
The 33 year-old is a clinical forward and though his flattering PSG record is helped by the less-competitive nature of the league, his experience in European and international competitions would certainly help The Gunners in high profile matches.
Memphis Depay – Lyon
According to The Sun, Memphis Depay is a reported target for Arsenal. The ex-Manchester United winger is apparently keen to move back to the Premier League, having all but failed to secure European football for the first time in his senior career.
The Dutchman’s side are currently in the Round of 16 of the Champions League and unless they triumph overall, the talisman would certainly be entitled to leave, considering he’s out of contract next June like Aubameyang.
The Netherlands forward didn’t quite make the impact he hoped for while at United, but has found his form in France since joining in January 2017. The move to Les Gones has seen him score 53 goals and assist 43 times from 135 appearances in all competitions.
His first full season saw Depay grab 19 goals and 13 assists in 36 league appearances. He managed double figures for both in the following campaign, and probably would have replicated the same had the league not been cancelled this term.
Depay is a versatile player with excellent drilling ability, creativity and final product. He may not be as quick as Aubameyang at full pelt, but with his flare and cutting-edge, the 26 year-old could certainly be the next Dutch great to wear the Arsenal shirt, following Dennis Bergkamp and Robin van Persie.
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