Jamie Carragher has accused Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of being ‘lazy’ at times this season.
Aubameyang put pen-to-paper on a new Arsenal contract last summer after months of speculation regarding his future, increasing his wage to £250,000 a week but will reportedly earn nearer £350,000 a week once loyalty payments and bonuses are included.
However, the 31-year-old has struggled to hit top form this season and has only nine Premier League goals to his name so far this season.
In Arsenal’s last two outings Aubameyang has been substituted and Carragher has questioned what the striker brings when he’s not on the scoresheet.
“I think Aubameyang’s performances this season have been lazy, at times. I don’t care how many goals he gets – he’s won golden boots in the past – but he’s definitely a player who doesn’t bring anything to this team if he doesn’t score a goal, and that’s a big problem,” Carragher said.
“I watched him last week at West Ham, and I’ve watched him four or five times this season, and I’m thinking I need more. I need more from you, and that’s exactly what we saw on Saturday against Liverpool.
“He was late for the north London derby and the manager took a big decision, and it paid off. I’m expecting a reaction from Aubameyang. He then plays midweek, misses a few chances and he’s not at his best in the Europa League game.
“I watched him at West Ham and I’d go as far as to say it is one of the worst performances I’ve seen this season. I was commentating on the game and when he went off the pitch in the 77th minute, Arsenal scored and he celebrated with (Alexandre) Lacazette, and I said that’s the most energetic I’ve seen him this season.
“He then gets brought off again against Liverpool. This is your star man getting taken off in the last two games on the back of me wanting to see a reaction.”
With Ozil leaving in January, Aubameyang is now the highest-paid player at Arsenal, but Carragher is concerned that the striker isn’t justifying his big wage at the moment.
All of which has drawn a comparison with the former Gunners no.10.
“I think there will be a big worry at Arsenal and for Mikel Arteta that they may have another Mesut Ozil situation where they give someone a big contract at £300,000 or £350,000-a-week,” he added. “Good luck to him, but you’ve got to justify that.
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“Next season and in these coming months that will be going through the manager’s mind.
“Have we got another situation like that because what he is producing right now is nowhere near good enough considering how good a player he is and also what Arsenal have invested in him.”
Ozil was frozen out of the first team picture at Arsenal prior to the playmaker’s move to Fenerbahce at the beginning of the year.
Although Carragher’s worry may leave the Arsenal boss concerned about a similar situation occurring.