Arsenal: Mikel Arteta wanting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is sufficient reason

Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mikel Arteta (Photo by IAN KINGTON/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mikel Arteta (Photo by IAN KINGTON/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images) /

Mikel Arteta has made it quite clear: he wants to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Arsenal. And while there are good reasons to disagree, that should be sufficient reason for the club to re-sign him.

This summer, Arsenal have a hugely important decision to make regarding the future of their club captain, top goalscorer, and best player. At 31 and with one year remaining on his contract, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang provides quite the conundrum to which there is not even a vaguely ideal solution.

There are four likely outcomes: he is sold on the cheap, sold for a high price, he stays for a year and leaves for nothing, he signs a new contract and remains with the club for the final years of his prime and career.

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Each has its own drawbacks, and there are good reasons to support all of them bar selling on the cheap. This has led to varying opinions on what Arsenal should do regarding Aubameyang’s future. Some vehemently protest that keeping him at any cost is the only smart move; others are more open to selling or even allowing him to leave on a free next summer.

And Mikel Arteta is certainly entrenched in the former camp. He was asked about Aubameyang’s future in his pre-match press conference on Monday. His response made it quite clear where he stands on the striker’s prospects:

"“I think it is our responsibility to make him feel this is the right next step in his career. In order to do that, he needs to feel valued, he needs to feel he belongs to us and we want him, and then he really needs to believe that we can take the club forward in the way we want to do, and he is going to be a key player to do that. At the moment I am extremely happy with how he has been performing and behaving, I have a really good relationship with him where we can discuss face to face a lot of things. As far as I am aware, he is very happy at the club.”"

In the modern set-up of football clubs, managers have far less say in decisions like this. They have a voice, of course, but the finances of the club, the management of the wage bill and transfer budgets, the focus beyond just improving the team on the pitch have been shared across different individuals and roles. A manager is now a part of a team.

Nevertheless, when a manager says that he wants to keep a player, the club would be wise to listen. After all, it is he who is in charge of building the team, assembling the system that he wants and implementing what he feels are the best tactics. No one knows what player a manager needs more than himself.

And so, in this instance, it would be foolish for Arsenal to override Arteta and choose a different avenue. They may be forced into alternative action, and that is a very different set of circumstances that requires more nuanced analysis, but it would be foolish if they choose to act in a way that Arteta does not want.

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Arteta, and no one else, is the man who must coach this team in the way that he sees fit. And if he wants to keep Aubameyang, that is reason enough to secure his future.