Unai Emery told to Defy Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s wish to play at Arsenal

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Arsenal duo Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have struggled under Unai Emery this season.

Arsenal hero Charlie Nicholas believes Unai Emery must defy Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s desire to play down the middle in order to coax the best from Alexandre Lacazette.

Aubameyang toiled on Monday night as the Gunners crashed to a 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United in their Premier League showdown at Bramall Lane.

Lacazette was benched for the showdown and later came on, but was unable to inspire Arsenal to a key win.

And Nicholas believes that, in order to get the best from the duo, Emery must move Aubameyang to the wing – even if he might not like it.

“A lot of the time, even when Alexandre Lacazette is fit, he doesn’t play him because he says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang prefers to play through the middle,” he told Sky Sports.

“But Aubameyang actually plays better for the team when he’s slightly coming in, in behind Lacazette because it gives you the ball in over the top.

“They rely on the obscene amount of goals that Aubameyang scores playing in an average team; they need to play him with Lacazette.

“Pepe, Lacazette and Aubameyang is a very good front three. Add Ceballos in behind, and you’ve got creativity, pace and link-up.”

Arsenal are facing a fight to finish in the Premier League top four this season.

Had they beaten Sheffield United, they would have climbed to third in the table, above Leicester City and Chelsea.

Yet they didn’t and now sit fifth in the table, having won less than half of their Premier League matches so far.

And Stan Collymore has warned the Gunners they risk losing Aubameyang should they fail to secure Champions League football for next season.

“At present, Arsenal will be on the outside, looking in, as far as the title race is concerned. It’s touch-and-go whether they qualify for the Champions League next season, too,” Collymore said.

“So, failure could mean that Aubameyang decides to move on.

“The former Borussia Dortmund star doesn’t have the same rapport with the crowd at the Emirates as some Arsenal legends of the past.

“If I were Gunners coach Unai Emery, I would be wondering about an over-reliance on the forward.

“He is also exactly the kind of pacy striker that Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp favours.

“Arsenal fans, you’ve been warned.”

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