Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher thinks Arsenal should “keep” Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and risk losing him next summer for nothing.
The Gabon international has just over a year left on his contract at the Emirates Stadium with increased speculation in recent months over his future.
A report in The Sun today claims that Arsenal will risk him running down his contract if they can’t get a fee of £20m for him this summer.
And Carragher thinks that it could be the best course of action if Arsenal wants to qualify for the Champions League.
Carragher said on Sky Sports: “It’s interesting because Liverpool were in the same situation as Arsenal towards the end of my career when you’re just missing out on the top-four.
“It’s okay to have rules like ‘we never let a player go on a Bosman ruling’, but if you’re Mikel Arteta, have you got more chance of getting back in the Champions League if he stays?
“That’s the decision they have to make. At this stage, there’s no doubt that Aubameyang is too good for Arsenal. We had that at Liverpool with Luis Suarez and certain other players.
“You’re desperate to keep hold of them because you want to build around those players. If they go you feel like you’re starting all over again.
“That will be a decision for them. It’s okay saying ‘if he doesn’t want to be there, let him go’. But it’s not as easy when you’re at that club and you have a player of such star quality who will be there or thereabouts for the Golden Boot every year.
“It’s not easy to find goalscorers so I’d keep Aubameyang and see what you can do, see if you can bring players in around him and hopefully have a successful season and convince him to stay over the next 12 months.
“If not, it still gives Arsenal a greater chance of getting back in the top-four and that’s where they need to be.”