Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wenger Insists He Has No Fears over Aubameyang's Character

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wenger Insists He Has No Fears over Aubameyang's Character

Article excerpt

Byline: James Olley Chief Football Correspondent

ARSENE WENGER today played down concerns over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's character and insisted the Borussia Dortmund forward could thrive at Arsenal.

The Gunners are weighing up a formal offer for the 28-year-old, who is valued in the region of PS55million by the Bundesliga side.

Aubameyang has been suspended by Dortmund for disciplinary issues three times in the past 12 months, with sporting director Michael Zorc admitting: "There's a point where you can't tolerate it anymore. I don't know what's going on in his head."

However, the forward has scored 98 goals in 126 league starts since joining Dortmund from Saint Etienne in 2013 and when asked whether he would fit in at Emirates Stadium, Wenger said: "Yes, because character can be a very positive note and it can be a very negative note. I believe overall you look at the achievements of a player during his career and usually, when a career has been very positive, the character has been used in a positive way."

Asked specifically about the prospect of signing Aubameyang as talks over a player-plus cash swap involving Alexis Sanchez and Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan continue, Wenger replied: "I have nothing to add to that. These kind of things, it's better when it's secret and when you don't come out on it, and you announce it when it's over the line.

"Apart from the deal we just spoke about, Alexis and Mkhitaryan could happen but nothing else is close."

Wenger distanced the club from speculation on a January move for Bordeaux winger Malcom and insisted no deal was close to sign Jonny Evans. Arsenal and Manchester City retain an interest in Evans but neither club have as yet shown a willingness to meet West Brom's PS25m valuation.

The Gunners boss is resigned to losing Sanchez but believed another contract rebel, Mesut Ozil, will remain at the club until the summer, especially in light of the departures of Francis Coquelin to Valencia and Theo Walcott to Everton. Wenger gave a glowing assessment of Walcott's contribution to the club, having departed after amassing 108 goals in 397 appearances following his arrival from Southampton in 2006. …

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