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- Arsenal FC could lose Alexis Sánchez to Manchester United but gain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund.
- The deals will likely see Arsenal better off as the team would benefit from the presence of a prolific penalty box striker.
- Sánchez’ transfer to United could also see Henrikh Mkhitaryan move to Arsenal.
- The United midfielder has a pre-existing playing relationship with Aubameyang – and it is one that yielded many goals when both played in the same Dortmund team just two years ago.
Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, one of the deadliest goalscorers in world football, is close to joining Arsenal FC.
German news publication Bild says Aubameyang’s father/agent is in transit so he can meet with Arsenal executives to discuss a £50 million move.
Should Aubameyang maintain his current form, Arsenal would get considerable value for money on its investment.
The 28-year-old Gabon international is at the peak of his powers, scoring 100 goals in his last 118 games in all competitions for Dortmund, and – just like former Arsenal icon Thierry Henry – is capable of scoring goals that are works of art.
This deft one-touch volley from ten yards in 2017 is just one example:
This could be the bestPierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane DembÃ©lÃ© combinationyet.
What a goal ðx¥ðx pic.twitter.com/XgBvuTnFeB
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 20, 2017
Arsenal may be loathe to lose wantaway forward Alexis Sánchez to Manchester United in the January transfer window, yet Aubameyang would improve Arsène Wenger’s first team even in Sánchez’ absence.
A “fox-in-the-box” type striker, Aubameyang thrives on quick, counter-attacking plays – an Arsenal speciality. He has a Sánchez-like work-rate, poses an aerial threat in the penalty box, and is an expert finisher.
With 13 goals and three assists in the Bundesliga this season, Aubameyang has been responsible for scoring or creating one goal for every 82 minutes he has been on the pitch.
Meanwhile, Sánchez has only scored or created a goal once for every 150 minutes he has played in the Premier League this season, but has played in a variety of positions across the forward line.
Here’s where Arsenal could get real bang for its buck
One of the mooted deals with United could be a straight player swap, according to Sky Sports News.
This would see no money change hands between Arsenal and United as, instead, the two clubs would change players. United would get Sánchez and would send Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Arsenal in return.
A former Dortmund midfielder, Mkhitaryan would arrive in north London with the added advantage of having a pre-existing relationship with Aubameyang.
In their last Bundesliga season together at Dortmund (2015/2016), they featured prominently on an attacking partnership efficiency list put together by data crunching website Whoscored.com:
Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang combined for 6 league goals in the 2015/16 Bundesliga season — Could the duo be about to link up at Arsenal once more? pic.twitter.com/EEmHP33VH1
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 16, 2018
Here’s an example of their link-up play in that 2015/2016 season:
Securing Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang in the same transfer window may seem like the stuff of fantasy, but Arsenal has a trick card up its sleeve.
The club appointed Sven Mislintat as chief scout in November 2017. Mislintat is the man who brought both Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang to Dortmund and is reportedly pushing for both deals to be done in his debut transfer window at Arsenal.
Should Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang reignite their productive partnership from their Dortmund days at Arsenal, it will ensure the club has no regrets about losing Sánchez.