With all the speculation about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joining Arsenal, many fans assumed he’d take Alexandre Lacazette’s place in the first team. Could they play together instead?
First off, it’s probably worth mentioning that there are plenty of games to go between now and May. Aubameyang couldn’t play in the Europa League for Arsenal anyway, so he can’t take over completely. Nonetheless, it’s likely a 28-year-old £60m signing plays most Premier League matches.
Could both strikers fit in the current team?
At Dortmund, Aubameyang generally plays as a lone striker, same as Lacazette at Arsenal. This is largely because the German club have no choice. They don’t own any other centre-forwards, except 18-year-old Alexander Isak.
As mentioned, Lacazette tends to play up top alone as well. It’s not like he doesn’t have experience working with other centre-forwards though. Danny Welbeck often plays out on the left behind the Frenchman with the Gunners.
Plus, on international duty, the 26-year-old plays alongside Anthony Martial and Kylian Mbappe. The former Monaco forwards both started out in the middle, but now play wider roles to accommodate Edinson Cavani. Perhaps Arsenal should look to do the same thing, and play Aubameyang as a wide-forward.
The Gabon international has the raw attributes to make it work. He has pace, and top quality movement, and I’m sure he’d do a great job of linking up with Lacazette in the middle.
The Gunners lost Alexis Sanchez’s goals when the Chilean left for Manchester United this month, so they might need both players in the team just to get back to scoring at the same rates as before.
Two up top?
Alternatively, if Arsenal changed formation, both strikers could play up top together in a two. Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann prove how effective that tactic can still be with France. Lacazette and Aubameyang could do the same for the Gunners.
They’ve got the one big, one small, dynamic pundits love to talk about. We’ve already seen how good Lacazette is at linking up with teammates and creating chances, maybe he just needs someone alongside him to finish them, and create some in return. Plus, the idea of Mesut Özil sitting behind the pair is a mouth-watering prospect.
First, Arsenal need to sign the Dortmund man. It looks tough to find a way to get the best out of Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Lacazette and Özil all at once as well. That’s not a bad problem to have though.