Arsenal legend Thierry Henry makes honest admission about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang future
Arsenal hero Thierry Henry has spoken out about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future with the Gunners.
Arsenal icon Thierry Henry has admitted he would not be able to tell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to stay at the club because he left himself, and the former Gunners forward admits he can understand why Aubameyang might see his future away from the Emirates.
Arsenal’s top goalscorer, who has 20 strikes this season, will enter the final 12 months of his contract after June 30.
The north London club are hopeful of tying him down to an extension, though that might require them to hand the Gabon international a significant pay rise – just months after agreeing a 12-month 12.5 per cent with the bulk of their first-team squad due to the financial repercussions of the coronavirus crisis.
The alternatives are that Arsenal either keep Aubameyang until the end of his contract and lose him for free in 2021 or sell the 30-year-old in the upcoming summer transfer window.
Aubameyang is immensely important to Mikel Arteta’s team with only Jamie Vardy having scored as many goals as the African forward in the Premier League this season.
His 17 goals make up 43 per cent of Arsenal’s efforts in the league, while he has directly won 16 of the team’s 40 top-flight points this term.
And as such Arteta has made it clear he wants to keep the former Borussia Dortmund frontman under any circumstances.
Yet club legend Henry, the north London outfit’s all-time top scorer, admits he cannot tell Aubameyang to stay having left himself.
Henry spent eight years as a player at Arsenal but quit for Barcelona in 2007 despite then being the club’s captain.
Aubameyang also holds the armband at present but ex-France international Henry insists he cannot tell him to stay as many other of the club’s past heroes have, because he found himself in a similar situation, and because the fleet-footed No 14 might harbour comparable ambitions.
Asked what he would tell Aubameyang if he could advise the striker, Henry said to Sky Sports: “Everybody will do what they have to do. How am I going to say to somebody to stay when I left?
“You know, things happen. It doesn’t kill the love that you have for a place.
“As an Arsenal fan, you want him to stay. As a football player, he will assess the situation with his family, with his dad who I know also, to see what’s the best for them.
“If you’re an Arsenal man, you don’t want him to leave.
“Also the guy has a career and I don’t know what’s in his head and where he wants to go, all I know is we’re definitely going to miss his goals if he does leave.
“At the end of the day I said it when I was at Sky, it was a sort of thing, he does score goals and you take the goals of Aubameyang away, it’s a tough one.
“I respect what these sort of people, what people have to go through and what desires or dreams they have.
“As an Arsenal man, any Arsenal fan would be crazy to say he should leave.
“We don’t want him to leave but on the other side, you have to understand that the guy has a life and maybe he needs to see something else, who knows.
“But as an Arsenal man, I hope that he stays.”
Arteta, meanwhile, spelt it out in conversation with Ian Wright this week that he should not have to sell his vision to Aubameyang.
The Spanish coach only wants players completely committed to the cause in his squad.
“The moment we mention Arsenal you know what it means around the world,” he said.
“Everybody wants to come here. We have a very clear idea of what we are. It doesnt need much convincing and if they do then its not a good starting point.
“If i have to convince a player to stay or join us then I am a little bit… it holds me back a little bit.
“It has to be I want to play for that club, they represent the values and style of play I want. Thats the emotion I want to see here.
“Same with the players that are here, whats your feelings, what are the things that you have towards the club. Thats what interests me.”