North Londoners eye summer move for the ‘African Neymar’.
Arsenal are pondering making an end of season move for in-demand AS St Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, reports the Metro.
The Gunners’ head coach Arsene Wenger sent scout Gilles Grimandi to watch the player in action on Friday night as St Etienne fought out an entertaining 2-2 home draw with Rennes in Ligue 1, with the Gabon international scoring one of the hosts’ goals in the process.
The 23-year-old attacker has enjoyed a sensational season so far in front of goal for his club, scoring 16 times already, and it is form that has also attracted the interest of the likes of fellow Premier League club’s Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Newcastle United.
In fact, the Magpies even had a bid for the forward rejected in the January transfer window, with St Etienne determined to keep hold of the player until the summer. The Metro states that ASSE hope to be able to demand a £15 million fee for Aubameyang, although Arsenal hope to get him for £10m as the player is reluctant to sign a new contract.
Aubameyang has been dubbed the ‘African Neymar’ say the Metro, but in truth the Gabon star has little in common with the Brazil star besides a sketchy hairstyle.
The Brazil international is renowned as one of the best dribblers in the game, but Aubameyang only takes the ball past opponents 0.6 times per game, according to statistics website WhoScored.com.
However, his strike rate from both an orthodox centre forward position, as well as when deployed on the wing, is highly impressive – and he has scored in every Ligue 1 match since January 27th. Neymar’s vision is impressive for his age, and perhaps Aubameyang’s eight assists in Ligue 1 this season are what have earned him the comparison.
With Arsenal hit-men Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski both most comfortable up front, Aubameyang’s versatility could be extremely useful for the Gunners – if they can convince ASSE to sell.