Sky Sports pundit and former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has criticised Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and compared his situation to Mesut Ozil’s.
Aubameyang was ineffective against Liverpool at the weekend, continuing the theme of a season where he hasn’t been at his best at all.
Arsenal offered Ozil a lucrative long-term contract and in the end let him go for free and Aubameyang also isn’t providing value for money at the moment.
Merson feels Aubameyang is completely bereft of confidence and doesn’t offer much if he doesn’t score in a game.
“He’s a bit like Mesut Ozil without the goals. He’s not going to run back and do a fifty-fifty tackle or chase the ball back and get it back for his side,” said Merson of Aubameyang.
“His confidence is well and truly shot, but he’s a goal scorer and in a big football match against Slavia Prague he could end up on the far post and score. That’s what he can do.
“To give him that kind of money at this stage of his career is just pure panic. It’s lazy from Arsenal. It’s a mistake they’ve made in the past too, so it’s really lazy stuff from the club.
“It’s up to the manager whether this becomes another Ozil situation. You can say it’s another Ozil situation, but Ozil wasn’t given the chance to play.”
Tying Aubameyang down looked like the most important piece of business Arsenal did all summer at the time.
He was carrying the team in the latter part of last season, but his form has been nowhere near that this term.
Whether he was just playing for a new deal last year, we’ll never know.
But Mikel Arteta needs to try and find a way to get more out of him, to avoid him becoming an expensive burden.
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