The former Gunners defender read little into speculation over the summer, but admits deals could be done in the next window
There was little substance to the speculation surrounding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang over the summer, claims Nigel Winterburn, but the Arsenal striker and his fellow frontman Alexandre Lacazette could become the subject of interest in January.
Questions continue to be asked of how long two proven goalscorers will be sticking around in north London, with there plenty of takers ready to snap them up if exit doors open at Emirates Stadium.
Lacazette is into the final year of his contract, while Aubameyang has struggled to produce his best since committing to a lucrative deal in 2020, and former Arsenal defender Winterburn admits that further struggles from the Gunners may lead to both mulling over their options.
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What has been said?
Speaking in association with Buzz Bingo, Winterburn told Goal when asked if experienced strikers will be targeted in 2022 if no top-four bid is pieced together: “Potentially, but it’s very difficult to say because Aubameyang signed that new deal, so I would be surprised if he was pushing to move away.
“His form wasn’t great last season, and he needs to pick that up before anything.
“Lacazette is the one into his last year, so that would be the most likely scenario that he could leave if someone came in with an offer.
“It would depend on where Arsenal are in the table and whether someone can be brought in to fill that role.
“If they let one of those two go, then we’ll be left so short up front.
“We’re already a little short in that area at the minute, but when we get to January the rumours may surface again with Arsenal potentially looking to bring someone in.”
Was interest shown over the summer?
Plenty were willing to suggest that Lacazette and Aubameyang could have been prised from Arsenal’s clutches over the summer, with Mikel Arteta embarking on an elaborate spending spree.
Winterburn, though, doubts there was any truth to the rumours claiming that a club captain was being eyed by domestic and European rivals prior to the latest deadline passing.
He added on the Aubameyang gossip: “I don’t think personally that was ever viable for Arsenal.
“It was mentioned that Tammy Abraham might come, but I don’t think Arsenal were going to let anyone go in that area without getting a replacement.
“We’ve struggled for goals, so there was no way I believed Arsenal would let any of their strikers go without securing a deal for someone else.
“It became apparent that those deals weren’t going to happen, so I never believed any of the stories.
“Both Lacazette and Aubameyang were being linked away, so there was never anything specific in there for me.
“I didn’t see either player leaving unless Arsenal decided to bring someone else in.”
Arsenal need Aubameyang and Lacazette to start firing after seeing both stay put, with Arteta’s side still waiting on their first points and goals three games into the 2021-22 Premier League season.