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Arsenal legend Ian Wright explains key transfer Gunners must make after Gabriel arrival

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Mikel Arteta’s most important deal of the summer will be tying Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang down to a new deal, Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes. Since joining the Gunners in January 2018, Gabon international Aubameyang has been Arsenal’s most crucial player.

The 2019-20 season only served to reiterate that fact, with the former Borussia Dortmund man scoring 29 goals in 44 appearances for the north Londoners.

Unsurprisingly, Aubameyang’s stellar form, coupled with Arsenal’s lack of Champions League football, sparked serious concerns he could leave the Emirates in the summer.

Spanish giants Barcelona were keen on acquiring his services, although the Catalans have made no formal bid to sign him.

In a bid to prevent their prized asset leaving the Emirates, the Arsenal board have offered Aubameyang a bumper £250,000-a-week contract – which the 31-year-old is understood to be close to signing.

Tying Aubameyang down to a new deal, however,  hasn’t been Arteta’s sole priority this summer, with the Spaniard bolstering his squad by acquiring the services of Gabriel Magalhaes and Willian.

But Wright believes convincing Aubameyang to stay at the club will be Arteta’s best piece of business.

During an appearance on Good Morning Britain, Wright said: “To be honest, I think he will be the most significant signing Mikel can make.

“We do need to make that happen, simply because of what he brings to that team. When you look at the chances created for Arsenal, they were 16th in the league last year – and he still scored the amount of goals he scored.

“So if you can imagine, we can start creating more with the players we have signed – the Willians and people like that – then he is going to score more goals. It is imperative that he signs.”

Arsenal have looked like a completely different team since Arteta succeeded Unai Emery at the Emirates helm last December, with his troops recently registering impressive victories over Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Wright has been thoroughly impressed by this new-look Arsenal, which he attributes solely to Arteta’s influence and rapport with the players.

He added: “When you look at our manager he is a very focused, driven guy and knows exactly what Arsenal are about.

“When you look at the transformation under Mikel Arteta, you have to say we are on the right track and that is the only thing you want to worry about right now.

“It is still a long way to go with what other teams are doing at the moment – you look what Chelsea are doing, Man City are doing and what Liverpool are going to do, what Man United are going to do.

“We have to just worry, as Arsenal, what we are doing and the slow progress we are making at the moment.”

Arsenal will be back in action a week on Saturday, travelling to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham in their opening Premier League fixture of the 2020/21 campaign.

 

 

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