Why Arsenal could be better off without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
The data behind the absence former captain
Arsenal has finally climbed into the top-four in the Premier League for the first time since 2020 and have done so in style of late on the back of wins against Southampton and West Ham.
The key for Mikel Arteta’s men is that they have looked every bit of a top-four side in the process, and have done so without the presence of former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Moving aside the uncertainty surrounding the Gabonese international’s future in north London, the focus must remain on the performances that Arsenal have put in without their star striker; not just over the last two matches, but historically.
According to recent data compiled by OptaJoe, not only are Arsenal averaging more points/match without Aubameyang but a higher win rate as well.
58% – Since the start of last season, Arsenal have won 58% of their Premier League games without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang featuring, earning on average 1.9 points per game. This is compared to a 47% win rate and 1.6 pts/game when the Gabonese forward plays in this time. Rolex. pic.twitter.com/xOXyJD2qwi
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 17, 2021
There is no denying the goalscoring prowess of the former Borussia Dortmund hitman after his initial breakout season in the Rhône valley with Ligue 1 outfit AS Saint-Étienne back in 2011-12.
But his true prominence as one of the leading center-forwards in Europe did not bubble to the surface until he smashed 25-goals in the Bundesliga under Thomas Tuchel in 2015-16 in the wake of Jürgen Klopp transitioning him from wideman to number 9 the season prior during the Winterpause.
Despite the key goals he has bagged for Arsenal since his arrival in the January window during the 2017-18 campaign, the numbers do not lie; Arsenal has a better collective success rate without the 32-year-old.
Damning training update throws increased doubt on Arsenal future
If Arsenal is better off without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when data alone is factored in, perhaps Gunners fans may want to prepare themselves for the possibility that they will have to part ways with the divisive center-forward in the near future after fresh updates around his status in the first-team was revealed earlier today.
According to multiple reports from the Telegraph as well as the Daily Mail, Aubameyang has been completely banished from first-team training at London Colney.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is no longer training with the Arsenal first team and is expected to work on his own at the club until he leaves for AFCON. Arsenal are expected to review Aubameyang’s situation again on his return. [@TeleFootball].
— Connor Humm (@TikiTakaConnor) December 17, 2021
This comes in the wake of the Gabonese star seen arriving at the club’s training base one-and-a-half hours before the rest of the Arsenal squad today, throwing fresh doubt into whether or not he will remain at Arsenal beyond the January transfer window.
Spanish giants Barcelona are said to remain keen on bringing him to the Camp Nou as Xavi looks to find a solution to their lack of options in the number 9 role, but if the data is anything to go by, Arsenal should be just fine without him.