Merson details major Aubameyang worry for Arsenal ahead of Leeds clash

Arsenal legend Paul Merson has weighed in on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang debate, saying defences have worked out the Gunners forward.

Aubameyang has scored just two goals in eight Premier League games this season – having been Arsenal's top scorer with 22 in each of his previous campaigns.

The Gabon international signed a bumper new deal in the summer committing him to the Emirates club for another three years – but critics have pointed to a drop in his performance levels since then.

Many believe Arteta is not getting the best out of the 31-year-old by playing him on the left of Arsenal's attack, with Alexander Lacazette usually leading the line despite having failed to score in his last six games.

And Merson said the manager needs to change Aubameyang's position to get more out of his star man.

"When Aubameyang is out on the wing, he can go 15 minutes without touching the ball," Merson told Sky Sports .

"You can't have your star player going that long without touching the ball. How many goals would Jamie Vardy get for Leicester if you played him out on the left wing? Not as many as he gets now, that's for sure.

"Defences are starting to work him out. They are starting to nullify the threat from him from out wide and making life hard for him.

"They are stopping the cut inside and shot into the far corner. Something has got to change. At the moment, he's not seeing enough of the ball where it matters."

Merson says Arsenal have more problems in attack, with summer signing Willian looking a shadow of the player he was at Chelsea last season.

"I think I'm seeing things at the moment," said the former England midfielder, who won two league titles with the Gunners.

"Willian was unbelievable at Chelsea last year. For me, he was probably one of the best Chelsea players. He was phenomenal – an outstanding talent.

"He has gone to Arsenal and he looks lost. They have got to get him performing."

Arteta's side travel to face Leeds United on Sunday having failed to score from open play in their last four Premier League matches.

The manager refused to say on Friday whether Willian would play on Sunday, after the winger took a trip to Dubai during the international break despite current UK lockdown rules preventing people from ‘non-essential travel’ abroad.

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