Ian Wright has called on Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Thomas Partey to help Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out more with goals, despite two of them scoring on Friday.
“You could see how disappointed [the fans were] when he hit the post just a couple of minutes earlier,” Wrighty told Premier League Productions about Thomas Partey’s miss against Aston Villa.
“He’s somebody that he’s been shooting from some crazy places, so he was desperate to get his goal. I’m quite pleased that he finally got it.
“I would like to see him getting more goals because Arsenal are going to need more goals from the midfield.
“We’re seeing with Emile Smith Rowe, we’re seeing with Saka, there is going to need to be more goals than just the dependency on Aubameyang.”
There’s no denying we need more goals from more players in the squad, but are we really that dependent on Aubameyang?
Are those really the three we should be demanding more from?
I decided to look closer at the stats.
Aubameyang has seven goals already this season, four in the league and three in the EFL Cup. He is Arsenal’s leading goalscorer by a distance and that’s what he’s meant to be – Arsenal’s leading goalscorer.
Only eight players have found the back of the net for Arsenal this season and the trio mentioned above have six goals between them (Emile Smith Rowe 3, Bukayo Saka 2, Thomas Partey 1).
They also have three assists between them while Auba has two.
That means Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored or assisted as many as Smith Rowe, Saka and Partey combined.
But Partey’s role isn’t really to score goals, although that would be a nice cherry on top.
It seems weird to highlight him as the midfielder who should be scoring more when you have the likes of Martin Odegaard, who should certainly be contributing more and is employed to do just that.
Plus there is Nicolas Pepe.
Between them, they have two goals and three assists.
Also missing from this conversation is Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal’s joint-second highest goalscorer this season, despite not really getting many minutes.
Laca has three goals and one assist from 253 minutes of football, meaning he scores or assists every 63.25 minutes. For Auba, it’s every 76.
In total, Arsenal have scored 19 goals this season so far, a pathetic total for sure.
Auba has scored nine, which is 36% of Arsenal’s total.
That doesn’t strike me as a rate so high you could say that Arsenal are overdependent on the Gabonese forward when his job is to score goals.
Mo Salah has scored 37.5% of Liverpool’s goals this season.
If you’d rather compare a team closer to Arsenal’s position, Jamie Vardy has scored 30% of Leicester’s goals. Harry Kane has scored 39% of Tottenham’s (who’ve only had six goalscorers this season).
In short, you are supposed to be dependent on your main striker for goals. That’s their job. But 36% cannot be said to be overdependent.
And yes, others should chip in more with goals.
Those three just seem like an odd choice to highlight.