A former Gunner has questioned whether the Gabon international should be considered among the best foreign imports in top-flight history
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang must maintain his output in front of goal for a longer period before he can earn a place in the Premier League’s hall of fame, according to Ray Parlour.
The Gunners snapped up a highly-rated frontman for a fee of £56 million ($73m) from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, which stood as a club record at the time.
Aubameyang made the transition from the Bundesliga to the Premier League seamlessly, scoring 10 goals in his first 13 Premier League appearances, despite playing in an out-of-form Arsenal side struggling for confidence.
The 30-year-old went on to win a share of the Golden Boot alongside Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane last season, netting on 22 occasions, while forming a formidable partnership up front with Alexandre Lacazette.
Aubameyang has added another 19 goals to his Arsenal tally across all competitions in 2019-20, with his most recent double coming in a 3-2 victory over Everton at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville hailed the Gabon international after another match-winning performance, insisting he should now be “mentioned as world-class” after leading the line admirably for two-and-a-half years in an Arsenal shirt.
Neville also suggested Aubameyang has already joined the list of great foreign players to have graced the Premier League, but Parlour doesn’t believe he has earned such a status just yet.
“I think you’ve got to look a bit more at longevity,” the ex-Arsenal midfielder told talkSPORT. “[Sergio] Aguero, [Thierry] Henry, Alan Shearer, Robbie Fowler, all these sorts of guys did it year-in, year-out.
“You can’t argue with his [Aubameyang’s] record, and if he hadn’t scored the goals he’s scored this season Arsenal could be very much more in a relegation battle than trying to get in that top five.
“He’s been such an important player for Arsenal going forward with the goals he scores; he’s very clinical once he’s in position.
“He looked very similar to Henry at the weekend. Once he’s through one-on-one that’s all he needs.
“Henry used to play just off the left-hand side as well, and the way he [Aubameyang] just opened his body out and bent the ball into the far corner was very similar to Henry.
“But whether you can call him a Premier League great yet, I’m not sure about that.”
Aubameyang will be back in contention for a place in Mikel Arteta’s line-up when the Gunners welcome Olympiacos to the Emirates in a Europa League clash on Thursday.
Arsenal will be protecting a 1-0 lead from the first-leg of their round-of-32 tie, before their focus shifts to an FA Cup fifth-round meeting with Portsmouth on March 2.