Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang landed a new contract last month but are Arsenal starting to regret it?
After much deliberation, the forward put his pen to paper on a new deal to the delight of Gooners fans last month.
His brilliant end to his tenure helped Arsenal win the FA Cup and the club’s No.1 priority was to get the striker to commit to his future for the club, with his contract expiring in the summer of 2021.
It looked like he had picked up where he left off with a delicious curling effort in their Premier League season opener at Fulham.
News that he had signed a new contract was announced three days later, but things haven’t gone too well for the Gabon international since.
Aubameyang may have found the net when Arsenal exited the Europa League at Rapid Vienna last week, but the Gunners’ home loss to Leicester marked a FIFTH consecutive league game for their captain without a goal and four without. decisive pass.
Darren Bent, talkSPORT host and Arsenal fan, has grown very concerned about Aubameyang’s level of performance since news of the contract broke.
“There has been a drop,” Bent said Sunday night in the Boot Room.
“You look at his form in the semi-finals and FA Cup final last season, the Community Shield and his performance against Fulham – he was arguably one of the best forwards in the Premier League, probably THE best.
“But since he signed this new contract, it may be a coincidence, but he looks like a shadow of himself.
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“He missed out on great opportunities in games, he doesn’t work with the same intensity, he doesn’t seem to enjoy it that much.
“Look, there’s a lot of confidence in a striker. It’s with any player, but especially with a center-forward, when you’re used to scoring as many goals as him and suddenly stop scoring, it can be a little worrying.
“But I think it’s also the pace of work.
“You remember he was doing shifts up and down, he was all over the place, but he’s been far from that level recently.
But are Bent’s fears justified? talkSPORT.com has taken a look at the numbers from FBref.com to see if Aubameyang has been that bad this season and compared his stats with some of the Premier League’s other top forwards.
So generally Aubameyang’s stats are pretty poor by its standards and when you compare them to some of the top leagues.
One goal and one assist in six Premier League games have put Aubameyang’s goals and assists every 90 minutes at a low level, along with expected goals and expected goals assisted.
He doesn’t seem to have the same selfish streak as the other top attackers, averaging 1.33 shots per game, but the shots he takes tend to go on target more often.
Surprisingly, Aubameyang’s dribbling that leads to a shot attempt is weak with none of his dribbling leading to a goal.
The expected goals and shooting statistics are interesting because they are particularly low compared to his teammates.
The shots from Aubameyang’s teammates and the PL’s expected goals every 90 minutes 2020/21
Bukayo Saka: 2.78
Nicolas Pepe: 2.17
Alexandre Lacazette: 2.11
Eddie Nketiah: 1.67
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 1.35
Eddie Nketiah: 0.75
Alexandre Lacazette: 0.55
Bukayo Saka: 0.28
Nicolas Pepe: 0.17
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 0.13
All of Arsenal’s forwards have comfortably higher shooting average and have a higher expected goal ratio. But why is this the case?
Aubameyang tends to play left of a three-front, a position that brought him great joy last season and this is where Arsenal build their attacks most often, according to WhoScored.
In fact, Arsenal’s six league games have seen them descend to the left side more than the middle or the right, with the exception of the win over Fulham, where they descended most to the right.
Ironically, the 3-0 triumph at Craven Cottage was possibly Aubameyang’s best performance this season.
It must be remembered that Aubameyang was bought as a center-forward and the statistics of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah suggest that you have more scoring opportunities there than playing to the left of the Arsenal system.
Playing Aubameyang on the left is clearly a factor, but Bent’s previous point about the player lowering his intensity – whether consciously or unconsciously – must be the main reason.
Arsenal shouldn’t panic just yet, they have an excellent striker who at 31 still has a lot to give.
He’s in bad shape, but as the old saying goes, form is temporary, class is permanent. Aubameyang’s class should shine as the season progresses.