Former Premier League defender Jamie Carragher believes Arsenal should take a risk and keep hold of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang until his contract expires despite the fact he may then walk away for free.
Aubameyang has 12 months remaining on his contract with the Gunners and he is debating whether to sign an extension.
With no promise of Champions League football the Gabon International may opt to join a club who offer him the chance to play in Europe’s premier competition.
If the 30-year-old does not extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium then Arsenal must decide whether to cash in this summer or let the contract run down.
It will be a difficult decision for head coach Mikel Arteta to make as the income this year could help him rebalance the squad in other areas.
But Carragher reckons the north Londoners should keep hold of their captain and top scorer.
“I would keep Aubameyang and see what you could do,” Carragher told Sky Sports’ The Football Show.
“Could you bring players around that and hopefully have a successful season?
“Maybe in the next 12 months convince him to stay, but if not, I think it gives Arsenal a greater chance of getting into the top four, and that’s where they need to be.”
Aubameyang has scored 17 goals in 26 Premier League matches this season – just two behind the league’s top scorer Jamie Vardy.
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Meanwhile, Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has recently offered the striker some advice.
“Listen everybody will do whatever they have to do,” Henry said. “How am I going to say to somebody to stay when I left?
“Things happen, but that doesn’t kill the love you have for a place. But as an Arsenal fan you want them to stay.
“But as a football player, he will assess the situation with his family, with his dad – that I know also – and they will see what is the best for them.
“If you’re an Arsenal man you don’t want him to leave, but also the guy has a career and I don’t know what’s in his head or where he wants to go.
“But all I know is that we’re definitely going to miss his goals if he does leave.
“Because at the end of the day, I said it when I was at Sky, he was that kind of a ‘thing’. He does score goals and if you take the goals of Aubameyang away, it’s a tough one.”
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