Bengaluru, Feb 25: It has been a season to forget for Arsenal but things have certainly improved since Mikel Arteta took over as the manager. The Gunners are still pretty much alive in the race for a European spot which looked far-fetched at a time when only a few points separated them from the relegation zone. Arteta deserves all the plaudits for the amazing work he is doing since he took over an under-performing side only two months back.
Another person who has been ever-impressive for the Gunners no matter how the rest of the team does is the club's star striker and skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. And, Arsenal fans have every reason to be worried regarding the future of the Gabon international. The 30-year-old will run out of contract at the Emirates in the summer of 2021 and if he stays at the club, he is likely to miss Champions League football for yet another season which a player of his calibre certainly deserves.
The team that has been linked consistently with the former Borussia Dortmund striker is Spanish giants FC Barcelona. And, a move to Camp Nou should not be fancied at all by the 30-year-old. If we look at the recent transfer history of the Catalan giants, it can be easily seen that there is a definite lack of vision behind it. The club that was once known for producing amazing players from their academy are now only looking for world-class players.
Barcelona have signed superstars after superstars in the last few seasons and most of them have been massive flops. Philippe Coutinho is the biggest example of it while Antonie Griezmann is also heading the same way. Aubameyang should learn from the mistakes of Coutinho and stay put to Arsenal where he is loved and valued by the fans as well as the manager.
With Luis Suarez still having a couple of years left in him, Aubameyang's first-team chances look bleak if he does move to Camp Nou which means he would be a high-profile backup or wasted on the flanks. And, he is also 30 years of age now and not a long-term prospect which means that a new younger striker would be bought to compete with him even after the Luis Suarez era.
It is a privilege and honour to wear the armband of a club like Arsenal. At Barcelona, he would be just another player and we have seen how superstars like Gareth Bale and Philippe Coutinho saw their fortunes change in Spain where the fans are much more impatient and hostile towards the players. Arsenal must ensure they can make Aubameyang feel more valued at the Emirates and bring in more quality around him to take some burden off the 30-year-old.