‘They’ve shot themselves in the foot!’ – Kevin Campbell slams Arsenal over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract situation

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang chats with Mikel Arteta during Arsenal's friendly with Charlton Athletic
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract at Arsenal expires in 2021 (Picture: Getty)

Kevin Campbell believes Arsenal ‘shot themselves in the foot yet again’ by failing to tie down Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with a new contract last year and says the striker will be impossible to replace if he leaves this summer.

Aubameyang, 30, who took over from Granit Xhaka as captain earlier this season, is set to become a free agent in 2021 as it stands and talks over a possible extension have so far been unsuccessful.

During a lengthy chat with French outlet Telefoot earlier this week, Aubameyang challenged Arsenal to prove to him that they were the right club for him to spend the twilight years of his career.

Arsenal Training Session
Arteta is positive about Aubameyang’s contract situation (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta addressed Aubameyang’s interview at his press conference on Monday and insisted he was ‘pretty positive’ that an agreement could be reached with the Gabon international.

But ex-Arsenal forward Campbell has been less than impressed with how the club have handled the situation, telling talkSPORT: ‘He guarantees you goals, and if you sell your goals you’re in a very difficult position to replace them.

‘He’s guaranteed to get you 20 goals a season, minimum, so how are you going to replace that?

‘If you don’t give him what he wants, it’s going to cost more to find someone to replace him, and even then they are not proven they can come in and do it.

‘He’s in the building! Yes, he’s going to be 31 but he’s still lean, he’s still sharp, he’s still fast – this is the type of player you build around.

‘I don’t know what they’re thinking at the club, but I’d have signed him a year ago!’

Arsenal Legends v AC Milan Glorie
Campbell (middle) reckons Arsenal have ‘shot themselves in the foot’ (Picture: Getty)

Campbell claims Arsenal are playing a ‘very dangerous game’ with Aubameyang and reckons supporters will be pulling their hair out amid the constant speculation.

He added: ‘I think Arsenal have shot themselves in the foot yet again.

‘They’ve played a game and they’ve taken a risk hoping that they’ll qualify for the Champions League so that would obviously push him to be signing, but it isn’t quite working out this season.

‘It’s a very, very dangerous game that they’re playing. The backroom people and the hierarchy said they would never put themselves in this position again, but what have they done? They’ve put themselves in this situation again!

‘The club has been run so poorly on the transfer retention side, they keep putting themselves in this very difficult situation and it’s not right, fans are going to go crazy about it.

‘I think Aubameyang is right to put the ball firmly in their court and it’s now up to Arsenal to make some moves and prove to him that they’re serious.

‘As an Arsenal fan I want him to stay, of course I do, but if I’m Aubameyang, I’ve been at Arsenal all this time and they have been messing around!

‘What Arsenal have been doing, skimping and scraping, is not going to turn his head to stay.

‘If Mikel Arteta wants to keep him they have to break the bank to keep him, they have to.’

Odsonne Edouard ahead of Celtic's clash with St Mirren
Odsonne Edouard is firmly on Arsenal’s radar (Picture: Getty)

Aubameyang’s contract situation has put the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid on red alert and Arsenal have been scouring the market for possible replacements in case the attacker does leave this summer.

The Gunners have reportedly identified Odsonne Edouard as a potential option but the Celtic striker played down the rumours at the weekend.

‘It shows you are working hard and doing the right things as a player,’ the Frenchman said.

‘It is flattering, but I just concentrate on trying to play well for Celtic. That’s what I am focused on at the moment.

‘Of course, winning ten-in-a-row is very important for the club, the players and the fans.

‘Of course I would love to be part of it. No-one knows what will happen in the future, but I want to be a part of it.

‘At the moment, I am still under contract with Celtic and my priority is to get back playing again. In the future, we will see what happens. 

‘My first target right now is to play football again after so much time away from the pitch. I actually only set personal targets for myself once the season actually starts.’

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