Arsene Wenger says that the deal to bring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Arsenal was a complicated one which went right to the wire, but that it was absolutely vital to add more firepower during the transfer window.
The Gunners moved Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud who, between them, scored 60% of the team’s goals last season, so despite people wondering if it means the end for Alexandre Lacazette, it’s clear that the former Borussia Dortmund man is here to augment the squad.
Wenger was pressed about the deal at his press conference this morning, and admitted there were many moving parts before it all came to a conclusion.
“It was difficult because of course Dortmund wanted a replacement,” he said.
“First we had to agree the transfer deal with them and then after that we had to wait for them to find somebody who could replace him.
“That was a little bit of a cryptic deal because Giroud went to Chelsea and Batshuayi went to Dortmund. That’s why it was very short in time and very tense until the end.”
As for what the Gabonese international would bring to the team, the manager highlighted his pace, something that we’ve been lacking in recent times a bit.
“He’s a typical striker with great pace and a good ratio of games and goals scored,” he said.
“He has a good work rate as well and is a team player. We lost some goals because we lost Alexis, Giroud and Walcott who are all goalscorers. He will compensate on that front.
“I’ve known him for a long time, he has played against Arsenal many times. He likes the way we play football and he needed a new challenge, certainly. We were the ones who could offer that to him.”
There’s also the potential for Aubameyang to dovetail nicely with his former Dortmund teammate Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Wenger was hopeful they’d be able to do for Arsenal what they did for the Bundesliga side.
“I hope so, yes,” he said when asked if they could click in the red and white.
“They are players who have played together, who know each other well and have had a successful period together.
“We are an offensive team and that’s why I hope they can recreate that perfect understanding they had at Dortmund.”