Virgil van Dijk wanted a move to Liverpool last summer, but could only get it in January. Philippe Coutinho also wanted a move to Barcelona last summer, but it is only this week that he could click a picture with his former teammate Luis Suarez in the Blaugrana colors.
After the two players made big money moves to their desired destinations this month, next in line to the same could be Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez.
The Chilean wanted to go to the Gunners’ Premier League rivals Manchester City and even submitted a transfer request according to reports.
Sanchez has his contract with the Arsene Wenger-managed ending next summer.
As the player is not willing to sign a new contract, Arsenal could either let him leave on a free when his contract expires or sell him for some amount of money this month.
Since last month it has been reported by media outlets that Sanchez could be sold for as little as £35 million, which is a very good deal for a player of his calibre especially taking today’s transfer fees into consideration.
Day by day, the rumour is getting stronger and stronger and looks like it is finally going to happen.
Well, if that is the case there is nothing much to discuss. The player will be reuniting with his former manager Pep Guardiola and will also win a Premier League medal (if the Citizens do not bottle their comfortable lead in the title race, which looks unlikely to happen).
The question is, what next for Arsenal and the poor old Wenger?
The Gunners will be probably losing their another star player, Mesut Ozil. Two of your best players leaving (that too for a combined amount of £35 million) is not at all a good news for anyone.
Even if the club is willing to splash in cash to make sure that they successfully replace the two, they will have to start doing it now. (P.S: The last time I checked Konstantinos Mavropanos is not an attacker or someone that can make a big impact for the team like the players who are set to leave did. I believe he is faster than Per Mertesacker though).
One player that has been constantly linked with Arsenal is Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gabon international used to want to move to La Liga giants Real Madrid, but recently it appeared that the player doesn’t want to move to the Santiago Bernabeu anymore. However, it did not mean that he intends to stay at Dortmund.
Is Aubameyang a direct replacement for Sanchez (or Ozil)? No. Can he make a huge impact and win matches for the Gunners? Yes.
The former AC Milan player used to be just a pacy winger, until he met the current Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. It was the father of gegenpressing who turned the player into a striker (number nine) and made him a force to reckon, just like the German did with a struggling Roberto Firmino at Liverpool.
His finishing and pace make him a suitable Premier League player. The 28-year-old is also good at holding the ball at his feet.
Aubameyang has scored 13 goals from 15 appearances in the Bundesliga this season and four from six in the UEFA Champions League. He has been doing this consistently for sometime now, becoming a challenger Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski for the Kicker Torjagerkanone.
Wenger currently uses the 3-5-2 formation for Arsenal, where Sanchez occupies one of the forward positions. Aubameyang could take the Chilean position there.
However, Aubameyang-Lacaztte combination will be different from Arsenal’s current Sanchez-Lacazette combo.
Sanchez uses his work rate to drop back and bring the ball forward. The player tries to link up with the midfield and help the team build up an attack.
Aubameyang is different. The Gabon international cannot be expected to drop back like Sanchez but he can move to the wings and take opposition defenders with him, creating space for Lacazatte.
Or the French international could drop back and being a good passer of the ball who has a good eye for through ball, he could release his pacy partner ahead of a few defenders.
When you have a top quality player in your side, there are a number of ways you can use him. It is not about who is replacing, but how he is going to impact the team’s game.
Aubameyang is a top player and Wenger can definitely do a job or two with him. He won’t be replacing Sanchez though (position wise – yes), rather he will be bringing his game with him and do what he does best.
Written by Dakir Thanveer
Follow Dakir on Twitter @ZakWriter
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