Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang experience makes Ousmane Dembele transfer decision obvious

By Josh Challies

Arsenal have plenty of work to be done in the transfer market in 2022, as the evolution of the squad continues under Mikel Arteta.

The Spaniard inherited a disjointed side that had a wealth of high-earning misfits, with Arsenal having to take financial sacrifices to get them off their books.

2021 was a big year in that regard, with a number of departures 12 months ago where Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi departed, followed by a summer window where significant fees were spent to bring in a new guard - including the likes of Ben White and Aaron Ramsdale.

Problems have persisted, however, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's fall from grace serving as evidence of the latest superstar to fall out of favour at Arsenal.

Arteta's stance with such behaviour has been clear - Aubameyang's reported misdemeanours were not first-time occurrences and the Spaniard was not afraid to make the big decisions - axing him as captain, exiling him from the squad and being open to offers in the January market.

Nor was it the first time Arteta has had to deal with such situations, having had a similar approach with Matteo Guendouzi and shipping him off on loan to Marseille - where he's confirmed he's set to stay permanently.

Clearly, the bar has been set within the squad on the type of behaviour that is expected and, should you fall foul to those demands, then action will be taken.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal. (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images) (Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

With squad harmony being so crucial, particularly in a side like Arsenal's where there isn't currently a wealth of depth in a number of positions, the right decisions have to be made in the transfer market - so the stance with Ousmane Dembele is clear.

Out of contract at the end of the season, the Frenchman's spell in Catalonia has been nothing short of disastrous but top clubs around Europe clearly believe there's still a superstar there and, with the right guidance, the player who excelled at Borussia Dortmund will re-emerge.

Arsenal are among those said to be keen on signing Dembele this summer, along with Premier League rivals Liverpool, and it's a prospect that will leave many scratching their heads.

Admittedly struggling with numerous injury issues during his time at Barcelona, that isn't where the biggest problems have reportedly come from, as numerous stories about the player's alleged ill behaviour have emerged.

When the transfer to Barcelona materialised, it was reported he had forced through a move. And in Catalonia, the player has reportedly been late to training on numerous occasions.

While the majority of those reports are a number of years old, newly-appointed boss Xavi is reported to have described his behaviour as 'indefensible' and is said to have accused the winger of lying about his contract situation, according to a report from Sport.

So, while there is the possibility that Dembele can rediscover his form and get his career back on track, Arteta may just try and avoid another Aubameyang situation.


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