Premier League • England

Apprentice to replace the master as Arsenal decide on superb Aubayemang successor

James Marshment
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexander Isak, Borussia Dortmund training

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may well have played his last game for Arsenal amid reports that technical director Edu wants Alexander Isak, or one other, to replace him in their attack.

After another disciplinary breach, Arsenal stripped Aubameyang of the captaincy with an announcement on Tuesday. He was not part of their last matchday squad and won’t be in their next one either.

The breach is believed to be related to his travel schedules having an impact on the club’s Covid-19 protocols. It is not the first time such a matter has come to light.

Now, Aubameyang’s future is in doubt. What is clear is that he is no longer the captain of Arsenal.

Manager Arteta says it hurts to have come to the decision. But he admitted it was necessary.

He has not been able to confirm if the Gabon international will ever play for the club again, only that he is out of the squad “for now”. But he stands by the “painful” decision.

“What I can say now is to make the decision that we made is really hurting, and it is still like this and it needs a bit of time to heal. So for now, he is not involved in the squad,” said Arteta.

Arteta reveals Aubameyang ‘pain’

“Since I have been here (my relationship with him has been) really, really good. That is why it is painful.

“When we had to make that decision, it was because it was the right one to defend the interests of the football club.

“It’s a really particular situation, first of all with the importance that the player has at the club, with their role, with the relationship that I have with him.

“But unfortunately, this is the situation that we have and we have to face it.”

As a result, it seems Aubameyang’s goose may indeed be cooked at Arsenal.

To that end, reports are growing he will be moved on in January amid talk in Spain of a swap deal with Barcelona.

Whatever his fate, it seems the Gunners are already working on signing a replacement.

As per Eurosport, Edu has two names in mind in Dusan Vlahovic and Alexander Isak.

Arsenal looking at Aubameyang replacements

The Gunners are looking to shift their former captain after everything that's happened recently.

Indeed, the Gunners’ interest in Vlahovic is well documented.

The Serbian, 21, is fast becoming one of European football’s hottest properties. Operating at around a goal-per-game for La Viola this term, he has an impressive 17 goals in 18 matches. That type of return is enough to make Europe’s elite stand up and take note.

Any move is likely to come close to shattering Arsenal’s transfer record, such is his reputation.

Alexander Isak another Arsenal option

Alexander Isak sat in the dugout for Real Sociedad, October 2021

The Gunners are also understood to be considering Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak.

The Sweden international is on 23 goals from this season and the last, putting him on Liverpool’s radar.

Isak also impressed at Euro 2020 before Sweden’s round of 16 defeat to Ukraine.

Indeed, Edu is a long-time admirer of the striker and is reportedly considering an approach.


Isak – the former understudy for Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund – has a £75m exit clause in his deal at Sociedad.

As such, any move for him would also not come cheap.

However, it seems he’s placed very high on Edu’s wishlist with the Gunners chief seemingly intent on replacing the master with the apprentice.

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