Arsenal hero Paul Merson claims the Gunners have committed the same mistakes with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that they made with Mesut Ozil.
Aubameyang’s future was the subject of intense speculation last summer before he eventually committed his future to the north London club by signing a lucrative three-year extension.
His noticeable slump in form has evoked memories of Ozil’s rapid decline at the Emirates almost immediately after he signed a big-money three-year contract in January 2018.
Merson believes the similarities between the two situations are clear and told Sky Sports : “They give Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all that money, a big contract, but he is 31 years of age, so we are back into the Mesut Ozil situation again.
“Something is going on with Aubameyang, though, I do not know what it is.
“Last Thursday was the biggest game Arsenal have played in for a long time, you have to weigh it up now as there have not been crowds in for a year or so because of lockdown.
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“Arsenal need European football next season, they need to come back, hit the ground running when the fans are back and there needs to be a feel-good factor.
“It is not cheap watching Arsenal and for the standards of the team, it is expensive. It was their biggest game last Thursday and their biggest earner and name was sitting on the bench.
“So that tells you everything and it is another Ozil situation.”
Merson also pleaded with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to start Aubameyang in the second leg of the Europa League quarter-final on Thursday.
The former England international added: “If I need to win a football match and I know I will get chances there – I might not get many, but they will get chances Arsenal – I need my best goalscorer on the pitch.
“If he [Aubameyang] does not bring anything else to the party, he will put the ball in the back of the net.”
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