The possibility of Arsenal landing Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has come back into focus amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Aubameyang was axed from Arsenal’s squad to face Southampton on Saturday following a disciplinary breach. The Daily Mail shed light on the situation, claiming Aubameyang had travelled to France on Wednesday to collect his sick mother. But instead of returning later that evening as planned, he flew back a day later on Thursday. That then had implications on the club’s Covid-19 protocols.
The incident was not a one-off for Aubameyang. In March, he was infamously dropped for their crunch clash with Tottenham. On that occasion, the striker had again reported late.
Mikel Arteta has received praise for taking a hard-line approach to Aubameyang. However, Football London hint the Spaniard’s no-nonsense approach could be in the knowledge Aubameyang’s days at Arsenal are coming to an end.
They state Arteta’s public comments suggest he is ‘more open to allowing Aubameyang to leave than ever before’.
The Gabon international’s form has nosedived since signing a new contract in September, 2020. The new deal made him the club’s highest-paid player, thus making a premature exit difficult for Arsenal to engineer.
Aubameyang’s agent holds meetings in three countries
Nevertheless, the article revealed Aubameyang’s agent has recently ‘held meetings’ in Italy, Spain and Paris. Though they stress the alleged meetings took place before his disciplinary breach last week.
If Arsenal could find a suitor for Aubameyang, Arsenal’s front-line would require major surgery.
Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are both in the final years of their contracts. At present, neither appear likely to pen fresh terms.
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One player who could fill the void is Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The Daily Mail reported Arsenal were plotting a blockbuster move for the striker in early-December, though any deal would likely cost around £60m.
Football London confirm the Gunners’ interest in the 24-year-old. However, unless Aubameyang and his monstrous salary can be shifted, they deem a deal ‘unlikely’.
Arsenal staff and players had Aubameyang ‘reservations’
Meanwhile, the fears of senior coaching staff and some Arsenal players have been realised with Arteta now facing ‘major disruption’ if he strips Aubameyang of the captaincy, per a report.
The latest from the Daily Mail has revealed Arteta faces significant disruption if he strips Aubameyang of the armband. They note Aubameyang holds sway within the dressing room and the bold decision could affect team harmony.
The relationship between the Aubameyang and Arteta is also reportedly strained. In their words, it is little more than a ‘working’ one.
The article cites ‘well-placed sources’ that claim Arteta and Aubameyang haven’t seen eye to eye on a number of fronts since the Spaniard took the reins.
Arteta wasn’t the only one within the club to hold reservations about Aubameyang’s suitability for the role.
Arteta left the armband on Aubameyang when taking over despite ‘pre-existing reservations from figures inside the club’ over Aubameyang being captain material.
Perhaps, even more damning is the final claim in the piece. Members of the playing squad also reportedly held reservations.