Rio Ferdinand has admitted he wishes Manchester United had signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when he left Borussia Dortmund – but claims his current form for Arsenal is a major concern.
Aubameyang joined the Gunners in a then club record £56m switch in January 2018. In his three years at the club, he has scored 75 times in 126 appearances.
However, since signing a new deal in the summer, Aubameyang has badly lost his way in front of goal. The Gabon striker has just three goals to his name this season though Mikel Arteta hopes he’ll soon return to his best.
Nonetheless, Ferdinand remains a massive fan of the striker and has revealed he wished he’d signed for United instead.
“What is the problem with Aubameyang? How has he gone from being one of the most potent strikers in the Premier League if not in Europe, to what he’s doing now?
“How’s that happened? It’s not the Aubameyang I know. I don’t know how Arsenal fans are defending him,” he told the FIVE YouTube channel.
“That is the biggest thing for Mikel Arteta, the biggest thing Arteta needs to do right now is to get him playing again.
“He’s got all these young, exciting prospects, you just want Aubameyang there around doing his stuff as well.”
Ferdinand added: “I love Aubameyang, I think he is an unbelievable player who I would love in my team. I would have loved Manchester United to buy him before he went to Arsenal. I think he’s a top, top player and a ridiculous finisher.
“What he did last season was unrivalled, but this season Arsenal need him firing, ASAP.”
Arteta plans Lacazette talks
While Aubameyang did not get on the scoresheet last time out, the 4-0 win at West Brom showed Arsenal may have turned a corner.
That win was helped by two more goals from the in-form Alexandre Lacazette.
In total, Lacazette has netted nine times this season to pull clear as their top scorer. But with his contract expiring in 18 months, Gunners boss Arteta confirmed his future will be resolved at the end of the campaign.
“We will talk in the summer and make a decision on what is going to happen,” Arteta said.
“We haven’t talked about anything relating to his contract. I’m delighted with the way he is performing, the goals he is scoring and the form and energy he is in at the moment. He needs to keep doing that.”
Lacazette was Arsenal’s then-record signing when he joined from Lyon for £46.5million in 2017. He has scored 57 goals in 146 games for the club.