Darren Bent is worried Arsenal will be able to offload Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang due to his hefty salary – similar to the situation that developed with Mesut Ozil last year
Darren Bent reckons Arsenal are in a “no-win” situation with Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and risk a repeat of Mesut Ozil’s contract saga before he left the club.
The club captain was dropped on Monday night for the Gunners’ 2-1 defeat against Everton after a poor display last week at Old Trafford as Manchester United claimed a 3-2 win over the north Londoners.
Mikel Arteta opted to start Alexandre Lacazette up top, but Arsenal’s struggles in the final third continued as the Frenchman would eventually be replaced by Aubameyang.
The Gabon international who is normally so reliable in front of goal has suffered a dip in form this season.
The forward was linked with an exit in the summer and his poor performances have only ramped up that speculation.
But the 32-year-old could be difficult to offload given his current contract.
Aubameyang earns a staggering £350,000 a week after signing an extension last September, making him one of the highest-paid players in the Premier League.
Arteta’s men couldn’t offload the midfielder, who was on the same salary as Aubameyang, before terminating his contract six months early as he joined Fenerbahçe as a free agent.
Bent told talkSPORT: “I said at the time Arsenal were stuck in no-win situation. At the time, Aubameyang was playing fantastic, one of the best strikers in the Premier League, single-handedly won the FA Cup for Mikel Arteta.
“They started off the following season against Fulham, scored a good goal, got the contract and he has been a shadow of himself ever since.
“It’s like the Mesut Ozil situation all over again. We’ve got an overage player, he’s not old, but he’s getting on in age that we can’t get rid of and on really high wages. So what do we do?
“When you have a centre-forward like Aubameyang, I’ve always said ‘you’ve got to play him, you’ve got to play him’.
“He’s your best goalscorer, you’ve got to find a way to keep playing him and he’ll get the goals. But I understand Mikel Arteta’s point of view because, at the minute, he is offering absolutely nothing. Arsenal are playing with ten men.”