Where should Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang end up this summer? | THT Rates Transfer Destinations

The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s potential destinations in the summer transfer window.

He has been a player who has taken the Premier League by storm since joining Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018. The last ever signing made by Arsene Wenger, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been a rare bright spot for the Gunners, whose struggles have shown no signs of letting up.

Arsenal might have lagged well behind the best teams in the Premier League, but Aubameyang has retained his exemplary scoring abilities, often carrying the team on his shoulders. So far in his stint with the Gunners, he has 61 goals in 97 appearances, winning the Premier League Golden Boot last term.

His impact has even earned him the status of being the club captain, bestowed by Unai Emery before his dismissal last year. However, the fact that Aubameyang is not really going anywhere with Arsenal, who are not exactly vying for the top honours, has led to uncertainty over his future at the Emirates.

That his contract has a little over one year left to run out has only intensified speculations surrounding Aubameyang. So far, there have been very little developments over a renewal, even though Aubameyang has been assertive in saying he is content at the club.

On the move? (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
On the move? (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

However, for all intents and purposes, it is expected that the 30-year-old will be on the move, with Arsenal looking to avoid a situation similar to Aaron Ramsey’s – the Welshman joined Juventus on a free transfer last summer.

With that in mind, The Hard Tackle now examines the potential destinations for last season’s Premier League Golden Boot winner, if he indeed decides to leave Arsenal, and what the best next step in his career would be.

Manchester United

Assessing the transfer situation

The club that has seemingly been linked with Aubameyang the most in recent months. Manchester United’s constant transitional situation coupled with the wealth that Ed Woodward has often flaunted means they are linked with the who’s who of world football quite regularly.

All rumours, bar a handful, are proven to be untrue by the time the transfer window ends. And, the one linking United with Aubameyang may well be one such rumour. Nevertheless, it has been reported that the Red Devils are interested in the Arsenal captain and have approached him over a summer move.

Considering that Arsenal and their fans still have bad memories of the Robin van Persie deal, which was followed by Alexis Sanchez’s transfer, albeit as part of a fateful swap deal, one can expect this rumour to die down as the summer transfer window progresses. Surely, Arsenal would not allow a three-peat, when it comes to their talisman leaving to join Manchester United.

Transfer Likelihood: 3/10

Signing Aubameyang would be a tall order for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer & co. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Signing Aubameyang would be a tall order for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer & co. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Is Manchester United the right club?

While a move might not be highly likely, whether Aubameyang would be a good fit in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s system is an easy question to answer. He might not be in the mould of the players that Manchester United have generally targeted under Solskjaer, but his versatility fits right in with the thought process implemented by the current manager.

On top of that, the striker’s slot is one which could do with a short-term addition, seeing as Mason Greenwood is touted to be the solution for years to come once he is deemed ready to become a regular. In the 4-2-3-1, Aubameyang can easily start out wide or through the middle.

If Solskjaer employs the 3-4-1-2 formation he used quite often before coronavirus struck, Aubameyang would be able to start in the striker partnership with either Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford, with the front two having the capability to stretch out wide and allowing Bruno Fernandes to take up advanced positions, if needed.

Having said that, with a move for Jadon Sancho being prioritised, it is prudent for Manchester United to keep Aubameyang as a backup option. Indeed, if Manchester United do sign both Sancho as well as the Arsenal captain, they might have a problem of plenty that could lead to some disastrous results in the dressing room.

Approval Rating: 7/10


Assessing the transfer situation

Like Manchester United, rivals Chelsea also seem to be in the market for a striker, one who would not just be Tammy Abraham’s deputy, but even be good enough to push the English international for his position as the first-choice striker.

To that end, they have been linked with several strikers since the turn of the year – a period wherein Frank Lampard has discovered why he urgently needs another top class striker at his disposal. And, Aubameyang is a player who fits right in at Chelsea.

That they will also be able to offer Champions League football only adds to the likelihood of Chelsea being able to secure the services. However, just like Manchester United, the disadvantage for the Blues is the fact that they are Arsenal’s fellow Premier League club and local rivals. So, unless the Gabonese striker really pushes for a transfer, a move might not see the light of the day.

Transfer Likelihood: 4/10

Can Chelsea land the Arsenal captain? (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Can Chelsea land the Arsenal captain? (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Is Chelsea the right club?

Another aspect where Chelsea are in the same boat as Manchester United is when it comes to them being the right fit for the Arsenal captain. Lampard has switched between the 4-3-3, the 4-2-3-1 and the 3-4-3 this season.

In each of those formations, Aubameyang can easily start as a striker or, if Abraham is starting as well, out wide. Chelsea are set to welcome Hakim Ziyech in the summer and the Ajax star can play as a winger just as adeptly as he does through the middle.

However, the Callum Hudson-Odoi fiasco has created a lot of uncertainty, especially amid rumours that Willian and Pedro are set to leave as free agents this summer. If none of the three players are at Chelsea at the end of the summer transfer window, Chelsea would have a severe shortage of wingers, making Aubameyang a viable target.

While Lampard’s project is majorly built on youth, in Aubameyang the Chelsea boss would have a player who is a proven leader and can bring some much-needed experience in attack that they will be deprived of once Willian and Pedro leave. Then again, the problem once again would be Arsenal’s willingness to sell to Chelsea.

Approval Rating: 8/10

Real Madrid

Assessing the transfer situation

Real Madrid signed Luka Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt last summer, with the Serbian striker seen as a long-term successor to Karim Benzema. While Benzema still seems to be going strong, Jovic has struggled to settle in at the Santiago Bernabeu.

On top of that, the Serb has been engulfed in a lot of needless controversy. This coupled with his indifferent form has ultimately resulted in uncertainty over his Real Madrid future. As a result, Los Blancos have been linked with a few strikers in recent weeks, with Aubameyang being one of them.

However, any move would understandably depend on their ability to offload Jovic permanently or at least loan him out – interestingly Arsenal have been linked on that account. If Jovic leaves, Aubameyang could form a bright tandem with Benzema.

Transfer Likelihood: 7/10

Aubameyang could potentially create a tandem with Karim Benzema at dream club Real Madrid. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)
Aubameyang could potentially create a tandem with Karim Benzema at dream club Real Madrid. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

Is Real Madrid the right club?

The biggest reason why Real Madrid are the right club for Aubameyang is the fact that the 30-year-old has dreamed of playing for the Spanish giants for the longest time. According to his mother, Aubameyang once made a pledge to his grandfather that he would play for Real Madrid one day, a dream that is yet to be realised.

If Real Madrid do make a move for Aubameyang, it is hard to see why he would turn down the opportunity. Add to it the fact that he will be vying for the Champions League title, among other trophies, and this is a move that could come to fruition, if the Merengues lodge a bid.

As far as Aubameyang fitting in Zinedine Zidane’s system is concerned, he can easily slot in as either a striker or a winger in the 4-3-3 that the Real Madrid boss employs more often than not. The stars would align just perfectly if Aubameyang leaves Arsenal to join Real Madrid. The only obstacle is Los Blancos actually making a move.

Approval Rating: 9/10


Assessing the transfer situation

They might not be Aubameyang’s dream club. They are not a club that is ever mentioned in the Aubameyang household, as per the player’s mother. But, Barcelona are one of the few clubs that can offer the Arsenal captain a chance to win a league title and appear to be genuinely interested in signing him.

Despite his mother’s comments, Aubameyang is open to the idea of joining Barcelona. However, in Barcelona’s case, the major hurdle is their interest in Lautaro Martinez, who is their priority for the summer transfer window. Having said that, the Catalan giants are in a financial quagmire and might be better off pursuing the more economical option of signing the Gabonese striker.

Transfer Likelihood: 7/10

The right player to replace Luis Suarez at Barcelona? (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
The right player to replace Luis Suarez at Barcelona? (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Is Barcelona the right club?

Quique Setien seems to have slowly adopted 4-3-3 as his preferred formation at Barcelona. In such a system, Aubameyang would fit best as a striker, a role he might be handed, considering Antoine Griezmann has his future up in the air.

On top of that, Luis Suarez might be on his way out of Barcelona as well, meaning someone like Aubameyang would be a much needed addition, if the Blaugrana do not sign Lautaro Martinez. Even if Griezmann stays, he has hardly been used through the middle in his maiden season at the Nou Camp.

In case Griezmann does start as a striker, Aubameyang can just as easily play on the left, where the fitness troubles of Ousmane Dembele would ensure the 30-year-old starts more often than not. His control over the ball in addition to the ever improving hold-up abilities mean he can fit in the Barcelona ideology as well. A potentially top class addition for Barcelona.

Approval Rating: 7/10

Inter Milan

Assessing the transfer situation

The aforementioned situation surrounding Lautaro Martinez means Antonio Conte could be on the lookout for a striker heading into the summer transfer window. Barcelona’s preference for the Argentinean striker could lead to the move seeing the light of the day.

In such a case, Inter Milan would need to sign a replacement, especially with Mauro Icardi unlikely to be retained. Interestingly, reports have suggested that Inter could use Icardi in an exchange deal involving Aubameyang. With the coronavirus pandemic hitting most clubs’ finances adversely, there are suggestions that we could see more swap deals than ever before.

Both Inter Milan and Arsenal are clubs that did not already go berserk in the transfer market with big money deals. Thus, the situation resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak could realistically lead to a possible deal seeing Icardi and Aubameyang heading in opposite directions this summer.

Transfer Likelihood: 9/10

Likely to swoop in for Aubameyang? (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
Likely to swoop in for Aubameyang? (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Is Inter Milan the right club?

In the scenario that sees both Lautaro Martinez and Mauro Icardi leaving Inter Milan, there is nothing stopping Aubameyang from featuring week in week out at San Siro. In Conte’s oft-used 3-5-2, a strike partnership with Romelu Lukaku will make a dynamic tandem, with Lukaku playing from the right and Aubameyang on the opposite side.

As far as the player’s ambitions are concerned, Inter Milan are a club that are definitively on the up, meaning he could be playing for a club that will be in contention to win the Serie A title at the very least. On top of that, Inter Milan might be the only club where he is certain to play as a striker, a position that invariably gets the best out of him.

The relatively slower pace of Italian football would also ensure that Aubameyang will elongate his career, playing deep into his thirties. It would hardly be a surprise to see him get close to 30 goals a season in the Serie A, if the move is completed. The Nerazzurri are practically the most ideal fit for Aubameyang, which is why it is believed that they are indeed the favourites to sign him.

Approval Rating: 9/10

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