Arsenal look better without their star forward and club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to former Tottenham Hotspur man Darren Bent.
Speaking on talkSPORT, the former England international claimed the 31-year-old is a passenger and that Alexandre Lacazette should start ahead of him.
Bent said: “Aubameyang is maybe one of them centre forwards when everything is going well [it’s great]. You hear the commentary from Sam [Matterface] in last year’s [FA Cup] semi-final and final and he was brilliant – you have to have him in the team he was that good. And you had to get him to sign that new contract [as well].”
“But I don’t think we’ve had this [Pierre-Emerick[ Aubameyang this season. Maybe the first game of the season against Fulham he saw it when he was sensational – he hadn’t still signed the contract then. In terms of Arsenal going forward at the moment, if he hasn’t scored he’s just a passenger.”
Where should Aubameyang play?
There are quite a few things wrong with this Arsenal side, so to pick out their star centre-forward and claim the side are better without him is a lazy analysis.
Last week, the Gunners struggled versus Slavia Prague in what was one of the most frustrating displays of finishing most supporters have witnessed from the Gunners this season. Many chances went begging and the overall attacking play left a lot to be desired.
However, the performance was turned on its head in the 78th minute with the introductions of Nicolas Pepe and the club captain. The duo combined with Emile Smith Rowe for what was the club’s finest move of the evening, however, it just lacked the finishing touch.
And then there’s the striker’s finishing touch, which has already reaped rewards in the shape of FA Cup victory last season. Without Aubameyang the club would’ve endured frustration in the form of his striker partner, Lacazette, who is nowhere near as clinical.
His performances may not have been the best this campaign, but, there is no doubt that the Reds are a better side with Aubameyang than without him. Statistics can normally paint a bleak picture, but, that’s normally the case when you use them to back up your negative rhetoric.
Did talkSPORT tell you of all the fixtures where the forward was shoved out to the left-wing with his teammates failing to create even a single shot for him? I think not.