It has been suggested that the Gunners could look to raid Parkhead if they lose a prolific striker in another window, but caution has been urged.
Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard “might not be the answer” for Arsenal if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ends up leaving the club at the next transfer window, says Charlie Nicholas.
Speculation regarding a move elsewhere to the Gunners’ club captain continues to build, with no expansion agreed to a contract due to expire in the summer of 2021.
With uncertainty shrouding Aubameyang’s potential, potential replacements for the prolific Gabonese are being lined up.
Former Paris Saint-Germain forwards Edouard, who has struck 62 goals across 126 appearances for Celtic, is reported to be an option that Arsenal would be ready to explore.
Nicholas, however, is not convinced that a 22-year-old without a Premier League experience would be the best fit at Emirates Stadium, especially as he is of a similar mould to fellow Frenchman Alexandre Lacazette and would require an outlay of around $49m.
The ex-Hoops and Gunners forward told Sky Sports: “There has been a whole lot of discussion of Aubameyang being sold, but Edouard would not be the solution.
“He plays differently, more like Lacazette. Aubameyang is all about pace and movement. Although he likes to play with the No.9 role, he doesn’t play it as what Edouard could. Similarly, Edouard could not play at the position that Aubameyang does, out wide on the left.
“He needs to be the important figurehead of the group as the link man through the middle. For that reason, I don’t see Arsenal targeting him as a replacement for Aubameyang.
Barcelona and Real Madrid have been cited and they have the funds to purchase him.
“Edouard is too similar to Lacazette, and when he was to move, it paints a different picture. Edouard would then fit into the Arsenal team as the No.9. You would still need to give him time as he’s not been playing every week against Premier League quality.
“His attitude has improved satisfactorily enough to tell me he will develop into a top player but I am not very convinced teams will yet be looking at him as a #40m player. But the current market, with the coronavirus likely to affect the value of gamers, this will play an essential part.”
Arsenal’s preference would be to have Aubameyang tied down to a new deal, with Nicholas reiterating his forecasts for the Gunners to do all they can in those discussions, freeing others to lead the chase for Edouard.
He added: “I just don’t think Arsenal can afford to let Aubameyang’s contract run out, so they will have to renew it. Despite that, I don’t find the Edouard to Arsenal link materialising, but I could certainly see him moving into the Premier League.
“He could be more suitable to Everton if they construct their team in the ideal way. I’ve watched them quite a bit this season.
He has more about him than Calvert-Lewin and there is little doubt in my mind he’d be a very good buy for someone.”