For the last 18 months, both Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have seen their forms both dip. Aubameyang had back-to-back 22 goal seasons for Arsenal but regressed to just 10 goals last season. Lacazette on the other hand has never scored more than 15 goals in a season for Arsenal, despite scoring 28 in the league for Lyon before joining Arsenal.
Both are the wrong side of 30, so don’t seem like they will improve as father time catches up. So, what do Arsenal do with their aging strikers, and how could they replace them.
What to do with their old stars
It seems like Arsenal will not have to worry about finding a suitor willing to fork out millions for Lacazette. The French strikers contract expires in the summer, and it still seems unlikely that Arsenal hold onto Lacazette. Arsenal have been flirting with the idea of selling Lacazette for a few years now. Arsenal fans know that Lacazette is on the way out soon. But they can still enjoy themselves using Novibet , with a range of exciting bets available.
It would be a strange choice for Arsenal to renew Lacazettes contract, for two reasons. Firstly, with the impressive performances of Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Ben White, Arsenal are trying to get younger. Lacazette is 30, and the striker’s reliance on pace means he will age faster than other strikers like Harry Kane, whose focus is on shooting.
Aubameyang is a slightly more difficult case. Arsenal gave the former Dortmund man a three-year contract last year, worth around £250,000 per week. It makes Auba easily Arsenals highest earner. Arsenal won’t want to still be paying the striker by the end of this contract, as he will be 34. It does seem like Arsenal may have to wait for the striker’s contract to expire, as I don’t know what team would come in for Auba, willing to match his lofty wages.
Who could replace these two?
There have been two strikers across Europe that have been most heavily linked to Arsenal. The first is Fiorentina front man Dusan Vlahovic. Vlahovic joined Fiorentina from Serbian side Partizan in 2018, and he has been on fire this year. Vlahovic was relatively quiet in his first couple of years, but since December 2020, Vlahovic has been one of the best strikers in the world.
Vlahovic has scored 28 times in 39 league games since December 2020. Only Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland have scored more league goals since. It means Vlahovic is being looked at by teams all over Europe, so if Arsenal could pull it off, they would have a superstar on their books.
The other young striker being linked with the Gunners is Alexander Isak. Isak struggled to get any game time in his two and a half seasons with Dortmund but has been excellent since moving to Real Sociedad. The swede has been a consistent goal scorer for Sociedad, and had some impressive performances in the Euros, thanks to the lack of Zlatan in the Swedish team.
Arsenal would have to compete with Liverpool for the signing of Isak, with Jurgen Klopp supposedly interested in the striker as a Roberto Firmino replacement. Isak would be an excellent centre piece that players like Saka and Pepe would succeed around, with Isak’s clinical finishing being useful for a team that boasts creativity.
Arsenal do have a couple of young options, already in house that could be replacements for Lacazette and Aubameyang. But Eddie Nketiah seems likely to also leave in the summer, with his contract expiring. Nketiah doesn’t seem to have the quality to be Arsenal’s leading man. The same is the case with England U21 Folarin Balogun. Balogun has had only two senior team appearances. He is no where near ready to be Arsenal’s star striker, so the Gunners will need to look outside of the club for their next striker.