Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan arrivals and Iwobi's Arsenal future - FCNaija

Features By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 29/01/2018

Arsenal signed Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Manchester United in a swap deal that involved Alexis Sanchez moving the opposite direction and the potential arrival of Borussia Dortmund goal poacher Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang before the transfer deadline day will dent the future of Super Eagles forward at Emirate plus his form going to World Cup in Russia.

It’s been a tough season for the 21-year-old Iwobi, with the Arsenal youngster coming in for some fairly severe criticism on social media for his performances and there’s no doubt he has been struggling for confidence, but Arsene Wenger has persisted with the Nigeria international and the Arsenal boss seems to be being rewarded.

Iwobi’s displays have improved in recent weeks he produced a fabulous assist for Hector Bellerin’s goal at Bournemouth and he backed that up with a really positive showing against Palace as he was direct, positive and always showed for the ball. Iwobi was a real threat in the first half and deserved his goal.

Iwobi didn’t have his worst performance during the Arsenal 2-1 win over Chelsea in the semi-final Carabao Cup, but no one on the pitch made as many tackles (five) as the Nigerian and that defensive application has long been a black mark against him and Iwobi misses a glorious sitter after Mesut Ozil provide a lovely through pass to him which he has to improve on his goal scoring ability.

Super Eagles star will be hoping to featured regular basis to make Gernot Rohr squad ahead of the biggest competitions on the planet World Cup schedule in Russia.

       Arsenal  Shooting accuracy Shot conversion rate  Mins per goal

Iwobi                         69.57%                    8.7%                        465

 Passing accuracy in final third  Mins per chance created  Mins per assist

                     465                                81.23%                                    44.3                   

Mkhitaryan is an attacking midfielder, who is also capable of playing as a second striker or as a winger and he excels playing in a central role, just behind the strikers, where he often looks to link up with his teammates in and around the penalty area. The Armenia skipper has also been praised for his precise passing, dribbling ability, creativity, ball control and work rate, as well as his eye for the final pass, his skill and trickery on the ball, enables him to beat defenders in one on one situations and furthermore, he possesses an accurate shot.

While Ozil and Mkhitaryan aren’t identical, they both have enough experience, creativity and, most importantly, confidence, to be able to make things happen. Which, as sad as this sounds, is all I’m looking for right now. Someone who can unlock the door more often then Iwobi. Which Mkhitaryan has proven he can do on so many levels.

 Manchester United   Shooting accuracy  Shot conversion rate  Mins per goal



Mkhitaryan             931                         50%                                     10%                                  

Passing accuracy in final third  Mins per chance created    Mins per assist

        186.2                                         76.1%                                    33.25          

With Sanchez exit from Arsenal the North London club have been in talks with Borussia Dortmund over their striker Aubameyang switching to Premier League down but what would the Gabon captain brings to Gunners would bring plenty of goals to the Emirates. He would also link up with an old friend in Mkhitaryan. With both Mkhitaryan and Ozil behind him, you can count on plenty of chances for the former African of the year.

Arsenal's failings in front of goal have been glaringly obvious so far this season, with club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette currently struggling for goals in the Premier League.

Aubameyang, on the other hand, has endured no such trouble this season, scoring 13 times and providing three assists in 15 league appearances. Last season the 28-year-old played a crucial role in Dortmund's Cup-winning campaign, scoring 31 goals in 31 appearances to become only the second African player to win two German golden boots after Tony Yeboah.

For a striker who has been linked with Real Madrid and Manchester City in recent months, Arsenal's capture of Aubameyang would be a coup, that is for sure. Besides his proven ability as a finisher, one of Aubameyang's strongest assets is his lightning-quick pace and fleet-footed agility.

Both Lacazette and Aubameyang may have played out wide in the infancy of their respective careers, yet the immediate solution would be for Wenger to play two up front if they do sign the latter.

That being said, Wenger has been keen on bringing in a pacey forward for some time now, as the club's pursuit of Jamie Vardy suggests, with Aubameyang's potential signing hinting at the Frenchman adopting a more direct approach.

Considering Lacazette's willingness to drop deeper too, it could well indicate that Wenger is prepared to revert to a system that relies on two strikers, be it a 3-4-1-2 or a 4-4-2 diamond.

Iwobi may well find himself out of the team in the coming weeks depending on Aubameyang arrival before the transfer window shuts, but the young forward has shown again that he has all the attributes to be a real asset for Wenger going forward.