Can Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang become the best Arsenal striker of the Emirates era?

Since joining Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund on deadline day in the 2018 January transfer window, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been a goalscoring machine for the Gunners, setting a standard most of his teammates could only dream of.

Aubameyang was Arsenal’s record signing at the time, with the then 28-year-old being bought for £57m, and few could argue the Gabonese hasn’t repaid that price tag.

Despite playing in dysfunctional systems for most of his Arsenal career, Aubameyang has managed 49 goals in 75 appearances in the Premier League for the Gunners, but how does this compare to some of the best Arsenal strikers of the Emirates Stadium era?

Robin van Persie

Robin van Persie scoring for Arsenal in the Gunners’ 1-1 draw in the Champions League against Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s former club, Borussia Dortmund, in 2011. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY AS ENGLISH.

A man who instantly comes to mind when talking about goalscorers since Arsenal moved to the Emirates stadium is Robin van Persie. The Dutchman’s career was unfortunately plagued with injuries, however, when he was fit, there were few defences that could stop him.

In his 144 Premier League games for Arsenal since they moved to the Emirates in 2006, van Persie scored 86 times, however, a large number of them came in a single season.

In van Persie’s first, and only, injury-free season, the Dutchman played all 38 league games, scoring a sensational 30 goals, just one off the all-time Premier League goalscoring record at the time.

While it is a shame van Persie struggled to play consistently for Arsenal, few can forget how good a striker he was for the Gunners, especially in his incredible 2011/12 season, where he equalled the Arsenal record for the most goals in a Premier League season.

Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez joined Arsenal in 2014 from FC Barcelona for £38m, becoming the Gunners’ second most expensive transfer ever. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY GOAL.

Even though Alexis has a tarnished name amongst Arsenal fans after moving to Manchester United like Robin van Persie did, the quality he showed while he was playing at the Emirates cannot be disputed.

However, unlike van Persie, Alexis’ time at Arsenal wasn’t filled with injuries, with the Chilean playing 122 league games in three-and-a-half seasons, scoring 60 goals.

On the whole, Alexis played out wide, however his best Arsenal season came in 2016/17 where the Chilean played as a striker, scoring 24 goals and assisting 11 in all 38 Premier League games, meaning he averaged a goal contribution every 92 minutes.

Alexis’ attitude was, in my opinion, correctly questioned, and the Chilean seemed a detrimental figure off the pitch, but on it, he was a world-class player who helped carry the Arsenal team at times, alongside German midfielder, Mesut Ozil.

Emmanuel Adebayor

Despite being a popular figure during his time at Arsenal, Emmanuel Adebayor left the Gunners for Manchester City in 2009 and joined rivals Tottenham Hotspur in 2011. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY GOAL.

All three players on this list are now hated by the majority of Arsenal fans after moving to rival clubs, however, just like the last two, Adebayor was an excellent goalscorer for the Gunners.

In Adebayor’s three seasons with Arsenal while playing at the Emirates, the forward scored 42 times in 91 games for the Gunners, however similarly to Alexis and van Persie, the Togolese striker had one stand out season in particular.

In the 2007/08 season, Adebayor played 36 Premier League games, scoring 24 times, with only the two players above him in this list scoring more in a single Premier League season since 2006 than him.

While these three are quite an act for Aubameyang to follow, the forward isn’t too far off them at all. In fact, he’s very close.

Aubameyang scored 17 goals in the Premier League this season before the break. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY GOAL.

Aubameyang has only been in the league for 2 years, completing just one full campaign, but in that season, he scored 22 goals in 36 games for Arsenal, two off Adebayor and Alexis’ best and eight off van Persie’s.

However, while Aubameyang doesn’t quite reach the heights of the other three in comparison to their stand out seasons, the Gabonese striker thrives more in regards to the consistency of his goals.

Since 2006, van Persie had averaged 0.59 goals per game in the Premier League at Arsenal, Alexis averaged 0.49, and Adebayor managed 0.46. However, since Aubameyang joined Arsenal, he has averaged an incredible 0.65 goals per game in the Premier League.

One thing Aubameyang has in his favour in this regard is the fact that he has played fewer games than the rest of his competition, however, if Arsenal manage to tie him down to a new contract, and he continues this goal scoring form, then I believe he could become the best Arsenal striker since the Gunners moved to the Emirates Stadium in 2006.

*All stats provided by Transfermarkt

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