Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan Arsenal deals close – just don’t forget the DM

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Media reports are circulating that Arsenal are close to the signings of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The out-going Alexis Sanchez will pave the way for Mkhitaryan to move to the Emirates from Manchester United.

Aubameyang is reportedly close to finalising an exit from Borussia Dortmund. Official figures have not been mentioned for either player.

In essence, this could be a masterstroke of a deal from Arsene Wenger.

Losing Sanchez is an undoubted blow. But the Chilean’s effort has been called into question for months now as he sought an Emirates exit.

A duel signing of the quality of Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan should off-set the negativity that presently surrounds the club.

Auba would be a cracking addition to the Gunners’ frontline. The Gabon international is jet-heeled and possesses incredible finishing ability. There’s an added bonus too in that both he and Mkhi are former teammates at BVB.

It’s not gone to plan for the Armenian at Manchester United but Arsenal are a much better fit for the sophisticated playmaker.

His vision and passing ability will complement the front-running of strikers Aubamayeng and Lacazette deliciously.

But the signing of the duo still won’t solve a major issue for Wenger. In fact, it’s probably the biggest issue the Frenchman faces – a midfield enforcer.

It’s been an on-going problem for years. Arsenal have rarely lacked in the attacking department. But their sieve-like midfield has stunted their ability to win the league since the departures of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva.

There have been false dawns in recent years. Francis Coquelin looked like he could be the answer. Granit Xhaka was signed ahead of N’Golo Kante – still an incomprehensible decision.

Wenger needs to splash the cash on a midfielder capable of dominating opposing sides and cleaning up defensively in the Kante-mould.

A world-class centre-back would be a handy addition, too. It’s easier said than done, obviously, but Arsenal will continue to struggle – relatively speaking – until those issues are solved.

Until then, though, the prospective signings of Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan will paper over the cracks of a creaking fan-base.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Cian Carroll

Starting life as a football columnist for his local paper in Dundalk, Cian has written for a number of media outlets with pieces published in The Birmingham Mail and Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo. A lover of football, GAA, boxing, rugby and MMA, he’s a big Aston Villa and Dundalk fan. He can be regularly spotted on various mountain tops.