Press conference

Wenger - How the Aubameyang deal unfolded for us

As the most high-profile transfer of the January window, the Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang deal attracted intense and constant scrutiny.

But how did it unfold from Arsene Wenger's perspective? This is what he told the media at Friday's press conference:
 on how difficult it was to quite the deal done for Aubameyang…
It was difficult because of course Dortmund wanted a replacement. First we had to agree the transfer deal with them and then after that we had to wait for them to find somebody who could replace him. That was a little bit of a cryptic deal because Giroud went to Chelsea and Batshuayi went to Dortmund. That’s why it was very short in time and very tense until the end.

on Aubameyang's qualities…
He’s a typical striker with great pace and a good ratio of games and goals scored. He has a good work rate as well and is a team player. We lost some goals because we lost Alexis, Giroud and Walcott who are all goalscorers. He will compensate on that front.

on why it was vital to bring in Aubameyang…
First of all I believe that the Premier League is a challenge for every big player today. It’s where everybody wants to play. Of course I’ve known him for a long time, he has played against Arsenal many times. He likes the way we play football and he needed a new challenge, certainly. We were the ones who could offer that to him.


The Breakdown: What to expect from Aubameyang

on Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang recreating their success at Dortmund…
I hope so, yes. They are players who have played together, who know each other well and have had a successful period together. We are an offensive team and that’s why I hope they can recreate that perfect understanding they had at Dortmund.
 on if Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Ozil and Lacazette can play in same team at same time…
It’s always possible. Will I do it? Maybe. I don’t know. But I think it’s possible, yes.
 on whether he has had to reassure Lacazette…
I don’t reassure people because I think we are in a competitive world. We have all chosen a job that is about competition and you have to fight for your place. You have to show them respect, and that you rate the players but as well they have to accept that we live in a competitive world.
 on spending a club record on a striker twice in six months…
Yes, but first of all what does that mean for you? It means that we can play two up [top], or one [up]. On the other hand you forget that we lose three strikers: Walcott, Sanchez and Giroud. So you should be in a position where you can understand why I brought at least one in.
 on whether one of Lacazette or Aubameyang will play out wide…
It suggests you need at least two top strikers in the Premier League, because if one is injured then you have a problem.

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