Report: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Among 'Half' of Arsenal Squad Eyeing Exit

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 19, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal FC celebrates during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Arsenal FC at London Stadium on December 9, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is reportedly one of the senior players hoping to leave the Emirates Stadium, one among "half the squad" who are eyeing the exit.

The Independent's Miguel Delaney wrote Alexandre Lacazette and stripped captain Granit Xhaka are also on the list of players itching to depart, with sources suggesting it's a common sentiment in the dressing room.

Aubameyang was appointed club captain shortly before Unai Emery was sacked by the club in November, with former Gunner and Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta close to taking over.

Aubameyang—who is also captain of his national team, Gabon—joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018 for what was then a club-record fee of £56 million.

The Guardian's Nick Ames wrote that Arteta—who made 150 appearances for Arsenal—will be presented as the new manager on Friday, but he won't lead the team for Saturday's Premier League clash at Everton.

Another former Gunner, Freddie Ljungberg, has taken over the team in an interim capacity for their last five games, with his only win being a 3-1 victory away to West Ham United.

Aubameyang's brother—former Gabon international Willy—recently commented on an Arsenal Fan TV Instagram post and suggested Arteta didn't have the experience to manage Arsenal, via the Telegraph's Sam Dean:

Sam Dean @SamJDean

Obviously this is Willy Aubameyang, not Pierre-Emerick, but it’s still a really bad look for the #AFC captain. https://t.co/ZsmyJ1oVEJ

The 30-year-old started the season in hot form and scored seven goals across his first seven league appearances this term, but he's since netted just four in their last 10 top-flight outings.

Arsenal are currently enduring one of the worst runs in their modern history, having clinched just one win in their last 12 games and sat 10th in the Premier League table.

Their most recent loss was a 3-0 defeat at home to defending Premier League champions Manchester City, with the team only seven points above the relegation zone. Per Delaney's report, Ljungberg has sent a message to Arsenal's board that "too many of the players didn't care."

Aubameyang boasts a very respectable return of 54 goals in 86 appearances for Arsenal, but one fan recently told BBC 5 Live Sport the pros of having him in the team don't outweigh the cons:

BBC 5 Live Sport @5liveSport

"One player that I think shouldn't be in the team is Aubameyang. He goes missing in so many games...leaving Lacazette on the bench is a crime." #Arsenal had one shot on target today - and none in the second half. Should he be sold like this fan suggests? #BBC606 https://t.co/OaD50Z8NhA

Arsenal will struggle to recoup the high investments made in many of their players should they stage a clear-out in 2020, particularly if teams know they're in a rush to sell certain staff.

The team's finances also look set to be adversely affected by this season's performance should they fail to qualify for Europe, and Aubameyang could lead a wave of stars Arsenal are more eager to sell next summer.