Arsenal trio can replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if Mikel Arteta reverses penalty decision

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had an afternoon to forget as Arsenal’s resurgence continued against Watford.

Having netted in his four previous games at the Emirates Stadium ahead of kick-off on Sunday afternoon, the Gunners captain was presented with a chance to make it five in a row when Alexandre Lacazette won a penalty after being fouled in the area by Danny Rose.

As expected, Aubameyang took the spot-kick only to see it saved by Ben Foster.

Unlike against Aston Villa where his effort was kept out by Emiliano Martinez, there was no reprieve for the 32-year-old as the ball didn’t fall kindly for him to knock home the rebound.

With two missed penalties this season, Aubameyang’s record from the spot is beginning to look less and less impressive as he has now failed to score four times in Arsenal colours since joining in January 2018.

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As a result, there have been some vocal Arsenal supporters on social media urging Mikel Arteta to make a change with Aubameyang when it comes to stepping up from 12 yards.

However, the Gunners manager doesn’t seem to be willing to reverse his decision just yet, instead offering support to his captain who also saw a goal ruled out for offside against the Hornets.

“He will stay on penalties if he’s happy to do so,” Arteta revealed in his post-match press conference. “It’s part of your career and job to miss penalties and we will try to help him.”

But if the Spaniard has a change of heart, or Aubameyang opts to stand down from penalty duty, the good news is that there are several candidates in the Arsenal squad to replace him.

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Therefore, football.london takes a look at the three Gunners players who would make worthy candidates.

Alexandre Lacazette

This is somewhat of a tricky one as the Frenchman may not be around at Arsenal for much longer as his contract expires at the end of the season and is expected to depart on a free transfer.

But in the meantime, he would be a great choice to replace Aubameyang until the end of the season as he’s one of the most reliable penalty takers around.

During his time in north London, Lacazette has taken nine penalties (including shootouts) for the Gunners and has a perfect record from them. This includes goals in big London derbies against Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.



Alexandre Lacazette has already scored a penalty for Arsenal in the Carabao Cup this season. (Image: Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Alexandre Lacazette has already scored a penalty for Arsenal in the Carabao Cup this season. (Image: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The next time Arsenal are awarded a penalty, then it’s almost certain that the 30-year-old, if he’s on the pitch and Aubameyang doesn’t fancy it, will be the first player to step up.

Just like he was against AFC Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup earlier in the season.

Simply put, Lacazette has shown he can be relied upon to score from the spot.

Nicolas Pepe

Another solid option, but with either Lacazette or Aubameyang on the pitch when Arsenal are awarded a penalty, it means the winger doesn’t stand a chance of taking it.

With that said, Nicolas Pepe’s first goal for the Gunners following his record £72million transfer in the summer of 2019 did come from the spot as Aubameyang allowed him to take a penalty against Aston Villa.

That’s one of five penalties (including shootouts) that the Ivory Coast international has scored for Arsenal – and just like Lacazette he’s never missed for the club.



Nicolas Pepe has a perfect penalty record for Arsenal. (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Nicolas Pepe has a perfect penalty record for Arsenal. (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

In fact, as per transfermarkt, Pepe has only ever missed one penalty in his career.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Perhaps the coolest penalty taker around.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is nowhere near close to being on penalty duty for Arsenal and actually has never taken one outside of a shootout during his career so far.

But it’s his perfect record in those shootouts that make him a top candidate to replace Aubameyang if needed.



Ainsley Maitland-Niles scores from the spot during Arsenal's penalty shoot-out win over Liverpool last season. (Image: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Ainsley Maitland-Niles scores from the spot during Arsenal’s penalty shoot-out win over Liverpool last season. (Image: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

His long run-up is often in jog mode and is followed up by a cool finish. He took two against Liverpool last season in the Community Shield and Carabao Cup, and on both occasions had a smile on his face as he headed back to the centre circle.

Furthermore, he once dinked a penalty down the middle in a pre-season shootout against Atletico Madrid, proving that he is ice cold in this type of situation.

Maitland-Niles is certainly a penalty taker that Arteta can trust.

Source by Football London

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