Chelsea vs Arsenal : Chelsea’s decision to bring in Gonzalo Higuain to bolster their attack feels like a necessary move for the lowest scorers of the Premier League’s so-called ‘big six’.Alvaro Morata’s tried and failed fairly miserably to resemble anything like the guarantee of goals the Blues thought they were buying from Real Madrid, Olivier Giroud is either injured or offside and Eden Hazard, as brilliant as he is, is far better out on the left flank.
But if Higuain, who is close to securing a loan move to Stamford Bridge, needs any help in understanding what he needs to do to hit the ground running in English football, he’d do far worse than speaking to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Indeed, one year ago it was Arsenal who were ushering in an experienced striker from the continent in a deal that, rather ironically, allowed Chelsea to bring in Giroud.
Amid all the upheaval that’s taking place at the Emirates, with a new manager coming in, Aaron Ramsey heading out and Mesut Ozil not really knowing what’s going on, the Gabonese forward has been the most consistent and effective player at the club over the past 12 months.
Chelsea vs Arsenal The January transfer window is not known as a reliable time to make impactful signings. Instead, it often provides a mix of calculated gambles, dice rolling and hopeful loan moves. But guided by former Dortmund recruitment chief Sven Mislintat – who’s another that’s set to leave the Gunners – the north Londoners sanctioned a club-record transfer fee for Aubameyang.
Well, since Aubameyang moved to Arsenal, only Mohamed Salah has scored more Premier League goals. Both have an Expected Goals rate of 21.4 but the Liverpool man has had an extra 14 shots on target. The 29-year-old gets fewer chances to score than Salah but when he does, they tend to be of reasonable quality.
It’s almost 20 years since Arsene Wenger proclaimed Francis Jeffers to be the ‘fox in the box’ Arsenal needed – he scored four times in the Premier League. It’s been a long-time since Arsenal had a prolific goal-getter of Thierry Henry proportions that could score at a better rate than a goal in every other game – in Aubameyang, they appear to have exactly that.
Decisive and deadly, the Gabon forward averages only six penalty-area touches per goal, considerably lower than the likes of Salah, Hazard and Sergio Aguero. The average number of touches inside the box of players to score 10 or more Premier League goals since Aubameyang’s debut is 11.3 – almost double that of the Arsenal man.
Aubameyang will, if he scores at least once in the next two games, become the fifth fastest player to reach the 25-goal mark in the Premier League. A tally of 24 in 35 appearances means that a goal against Chelsea or Cardiff will see him slip between Fernando Torres and Aguero.
The fastest to 25 goals in the Premier League in Arsenal’s history? Henry. In 42 matches.