Category Archives: UEFA Europa League

Aubameyang’s future in doubt: Two reasons Arsenal could lose their key player

Arsenal could be on the verge of losing their most influential striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the next transfer window as he is close to the end of his contract with the club.

The in-form striker is in the final year of his contract, and the Gunners hierarchies are reportedly doing everything possible to extend his stay at the North London club.

However, the club might fail in their bid to see the player remain under Arteta beyond this season due to the reasons listed below:

1. The Urge For Champions League Action

Mikel Arteta’s men presently occupy the ninth position with 37 points, seven points behind Chelsea who are in the fourth position, and their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League remains in doubt.

Judging by their current position on the Premier League table and Manchester United’s newfound confidence, it won’t be out of context to suggest that their chances of featuring in any of next year’s European competitions (Champions League and Europa League) remains uncertain.

Aubameyang will certainly want to ply his trade across Europe next season; hence, the Gunners face a very slim chance of convincing the player into signing a new contract before the end of the season.

2. Interest From Top European Clubs

Barcelona were the first club who showed interest in the striker following the injury picked up by Luis Suarez, but the Gunners were smart enough to deny the Blaugranas the chance of negotiating with the player during the winter transfer window.

However, Arsenal’s mission to prevent all interested suitors from snatching Aubameyang away is far from over as Barcelona are likely to reignite interest in the player in the next transfer market.

In the same vein, Inter Milan are equally knocking on the player’s door. According to Italian outlet Inter Live, Antonio Conte is looking at the prospect of luring the Gabonese striker to the San Siro Stadium as part of his mission to boost his attacking department next season.

The former Chelsea boss, who signed Lukaku from Manchester United prior to the start of this campaign, hopes to include the Arsenal forward to the list of players he wants to have under his watch in the 2020-21 season.

The Italy-based media outlet further revealed that the Nerrazurri are set to launch a player-plus-cash move for the striker, which could see Ivan Perisic move to the Emirates Stadium.

As much as the Gunners are not in desperate need of a winger, the North London club might fail to overcome the temptation of making huge profits from a player who could leave the club as free agent.

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Arsenal 3-1 Olympiakos – Will Mikel Arteta’s men prove Arsenal legend right?

“This side has got its attacking side back and got its mojo back in that respect. Arsenal 3-1 Olympiakos.”

Above quotations were the words of Arsenal legend Charlie Nicholas in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports ahead of the Gunners’ Europa League second-leg tie against Greeks side Olympiakos on Thursday.

Obviously, the Emirates Stadium outfits are currently enjoying a great run of form at the final half of the season having scored eight goals in their last three matches across all competitions. They have equally won all the three matches.

Heading into their second-leg tie against Greeks side, Mikel Arteta’s men have have a goal advantage having defeated their opponent 1-0 in the first leg of the game. The return leg being at the Emirates Stadium, the Gunners are in a favourable position to progress to the next round of the competition owing the sole fact that they would be playing right in front of their own fans.

However, the Greeks Champions are not pushovers as they have shown resurgence in their recent performances in the Greek Super League, and the Gunners must avoid being complacent against them.

Olympiakos couldn’t progress out of Champions League group stage drawn against the likes of Bayern Munich, Tottenham Hotspur and Red Star Belgrade, Pedro Martins’ side, however, are far from a finished side, and they have all it takes to shock the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

The Gunners’ shaky defence should be ready for a very strong test against the in-form opposition attackers who found the back of the net on nine occasions during their last four League matches.

Judging by Nicholas’ prediction, the Gunners will have a very easy game against their upcoming opponents, but it remains to be seen if the team will prove him right or wrong.

Meanwhile, the former Arsenal player — who is now a football pundit— equally gives a clue on the list of players who should be in Arteta’s starting lineup on Thursday.

According to him, in-form youngster Bukayo Saka is set to reclaim his spot at the left-back position following Sead Kolasinac’s injury against Everton last Sunday.

Aubameyang, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Joe Willock and Alexandre Lacazette are all tipped to start by the Former Gunners star based on their present form for the team.

Surprisingly, Nicholas believes summer signing Pepe should be dropped from the starting XI as he hasn’t done enough to justify his £72m price tag.

He urged the former Manchester City assistant manager to replace the Ivorian with Brazilian youngster Gabriel Martinelli, even if that’s almost an impossible task.

He said:

“Joe Willock and Alexandre Lacazette will come in I think. You have to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in for his goals. Will Nicolas Pepe get another run? Probably. Does he deserve it? Probably not. I would probably look at Gabriel Martinelli.”

A goalless draw is enough to see the Gunners progress to the next round of the Europa League competition, while Olympiakos need an outright win without conceding any goal to stand a chance of overcoming Arsenal’s challenge.

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