Report: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Key to Arsenal's Ousmane Dembele Pursuit

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2018

MILAN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 06: Ousmane Dembele of FC Barcelona controls the ball during the Group B match of the UEFA Champions League between FC Internazionale and FC Barcelona at San Siro Stadium on November 6, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Arsenal are reportedly planning to call on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to help in their bid to tempt Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele to the Emirates Stadium, as the pair were friendly at their former club Borussia Dortmund.

According to the Mirror's Robert O'Connor, the Catalans are open to a deal as the winger's relationship with Barca's management has broken down, and Aubameyang could give Arsenal an edge in their pursuit of the 21-year-old. 

Dembele joined Barca last summer from Dortmund in a deal potentially worth £135.5 million.

His debut season at the Camp Nou was hampered by a hamstring injury, but he started the 2018-19 campaign in decent fashion, netting five goals in six appearances in all competitions.

However, there have recently been widespread reports that Ernesto Valverde and a number of Barca's hierarchy and senior players do not like the Frenchman's attitude:

B/R Football @brfootball

—Talent without effort —More interested in PlayStation than football —Not respected in the dressing room —Not Kylian Mbappe What’s wrong with Ousmane Dembele at Barcelona? https://t.co/7LQt4OIli5 | @Richard_Fitz https://t.co/xibiMzWdys

Meanwhile, he was tight-lipped on his recent return from international duty:

‏ً @DembouzStuff

🎥 | Dembele ignoring Journalists at the airport after his arrival from France 😂 🔥 https://t.co/BY75X4hdPw

Per O'Connor, Barca are at the point that they are prepared to make a loss on Dembele if it means moving him on.

The France international is a huge talent and was superb in his single season at Dortmund, scoring six goals and providing 12 assists in the 2016-17 Bundesliga.

In the same BVB campaign, Aubameyang netted 31 goals, and he and Dembele formed a fine attacking partnership:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Ousmane Dembele to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: Was the best assist-to-goalscorer combination in Europe's top five leagues in the 2016/17 season, returning 10 goals #TBT https://t.co/m9Ss60TZR4 https://t.co/pkwNEF5PVQ

The prospect of them reuniting at Arsenal is an exciting one, and if Gunners head coach Unai Emery believes he can get the best out of Dembele, the club would be well advised to pursue the former Rennes star in earnest.