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03-Jul-2020, 06:24 pm

‘Arsenal should sacrifice others for Aubameyang’ – Smith calls for Gunners sales to help keep striker

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal 2019-20

Arsenal need to be doing all they can to get Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tied down on a new contract, says Alan Smith, with the Gunners told “others can be sacrificed” in a bid to free up funds.

There has been no suggestion that financial issues are holding up the penning of fresh terms by theprolific striker at Emirates Stadium.Personal ambition is said to have Aubameyang mulling over his options, with the 31-year frontman eager to compete for more major honours before approaching the end of his playing days.

Arsenal have struggled to offer much cause for optimism on that front of late, although they are through to the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Silverware would be a useful bargaining chip in discussions with Aubameyang, with the Gunners eager to avoid having to move him on in the final 12 months of his current deal.

Smith hopes a compromise can be reached that suits all parties in north London, with there plenty of other players that could be deemed surplus to requirements if sales help to keep thetalismanic presence on board.

“It was bad enough when the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie left to go and win trophies,” former Arsenal frontman Smith told the Evening Standard. “But at least Arsenal had the means back then to bring in decent replacements, even though they weren’t of the same quality.

“The situation appears different now. Money is extremely tight. Not only that, Arsenal’s cachet has changed. No longer a Champions League competitor, they simply cannot attract the same kind of talent as they could in the good years under Arsene Wenger. Sell your best player now and you lose an awful lot.

“Forget about trying to find someone who can do what Aubameyang does. That’s impossible, because it costs way too much. Instead, you’re looking at potential, something to nurture over the next few years.

“If there’s half a chance of persuading Aubameyang to stay, as Mikel Arteta hints, the club have got to grab it. Others can be sacrificed, others can be sold, but not this fella. The team is far too reliant on his nose for goal.

“With Alexandre Lacazette struggling and with the injured Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah only just starting out, Aubameyang’s departure would leave a huge hole that any possible replacement couldn’t immediately fill.”

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