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  • Arsenal loan exit only ties Emery's hands in regards to Aubameyang
  • Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has joined AS Roma on a season-long loan, as reported by BBC Sport .
    What’s the story?
    The Armenia international has not had the best start to the season, being included in the first XI on just one occasion at the Emirates Stadium, and as such, the former Manchester United attacking midfielder has joined the Giallorossi for the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign.
    The deal reportedly includes a clause to buy should he make 25 appearances , meaning that some good performances from the 30-year-old in Serie A may see Roma sign him on a permanent basis.
    “It feels like a loss” – that was the view of a Spurs fan after this weekend’s North London Derby in the video below…
    Aubameyang to be forced out wide more frequently
    From a performance point of view, Mkhitaryan’s departure is not a surprise. He has not hit the heights many would have wanted, scoring just nine goals in 59 appearances for the Gunners.
    However, in regards to Emery’s squad, it leaves Arsenal short in attack. The former Sevilla boss likes to play in a 4-2-3-1 formation with two wide men. Nicolas Pepe and Reiss Nelson are the only two “senior” specialist wing options available but the latter has not started the campaign in the best of form .
    But the ramifications for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be huge, then. The Gabon international has already played wide in two of the four Premier League games this campaign, and will most likely need to carry on in that role to enable the preferred 4-2-3-1 line up while accommodating Alexandre Lacazette up top.
    The former Borussia Dortmund man is no slouch out wide, scoring 69 goals in 144 games , but his best position is up front and that’s where he will no doubt want to play.
    The departure of Mkhitaryan limits Emery’s options though and only further ties his hands. Not only is he already selecting Aubameyang on the left to get Lacazette in the team, but he’s now glaringly short of realistic alternatives should he want to move last season’s joint Premier League Golden Boot winner back to the tip of attack.
    With that in mind, the wing could well end up being Aubameyang’s default position this season, and there isn’t a great deal Emery can do about it.

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