Tony Adams thinks Pierre Emerick Aubameyang could become the latest player to ‘walk out the door’, saying Arsenal have become a ‘selling’ club over recent years.
The Gabon international has just one year remaining on his contract with the North London club, and has been linked with a move to the likes of Barcelona and Inter Milan – some reports suggesting the Gunners could opt to cash in this summer rather than lose their prized asset for free in 12 months.
The departure of a high profile player from the Emirates would hardly come as a surprise given the clubs recent history, the likes of Samir Nasri, Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas all opting to leave the club in search of silverware in recent years.
Speaking about Aubameyang’s future at the club, former Arsenal skipper Adams suggested that he wouldn’t be surprised to see the 30-year-old become the latest high profile departure.
“Quite possibly, he could walk out the door,” Adams told Sky Sports.
“I loved Arsene Wenger’s principles, that no player was bigger than the club, and he moved players on if it made sense for the club financially.
“He was strong with that and he got Champions League football every year but it did stand in the way of recruitment – so we have become a club that is selling the best players.
“If I was a coach I’d be saying ‘don’t sell Aubameyang at any price, we need to recruit, bring players through the academy and keep our best players’.”
It’s been 16 years since Arsenal last got their hands on the Premier League title, with Jack Wilshere recently recalling how the club’s ambitions seemed to slip following the departure of Cesc Fabregas in 2011.
Adams – who won four league titles with the Gunners – has admitted the club’s current transfer strategy is unlikely to see them challenge for the title any time soon, contrasting it to how the successful Arsenal team of the late 90’s and early noughties was built.
“They bang on about the class of ’92 [at Manchester United] – in our class of ’83 we had six internationals in our youth team – Niall Quinn, Paul Merson, Michael Thomas, Rocky [David Rocastle], me and Martin [Keown],” he added.
“But put that on top of Danny Fiszman putting a lot of money into the club in ’95, ’96 and we were getting world-class players come to Arsenal football club.
“[Manchester United manager] Alex Ferguson came in for me but I wouldn’t leave and I said to the chairman ‘have we got ambition at the club?’
“He said ‘don’t worry, we are injecting a lot of money and we are going to go for it’.
“I stayed and the rest is history – Dennis [Bergkamp] came and Nicolas Anelka, [Patrick] Vieira, Manu [Emmanuel Petit], Robert Pires – we had five World Cup winners in the team.
“It is a completely different club today and I think recruitment at Arsenal for a good few years has not been great.
“Now we seem to be selling our best players and you are never going to recruit a championship squad selling all your best players.”