Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino has hit out at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after he struggled to make his mark in Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa.
He recently returned to Mikel Arteta’s team after attending to some family issues that kept him out for a few weeks, but he has scored just two Premier League goals in 2021 which came in the Gunners’ 3-0 hammering of Newcastle United on January 18.
On Saturday, Aubameyang was thrown into the fray as a replacement for Alexandre Lacazette in the 59th minute but he could not cancel out Ollie Watkins' second-minute opener at Villa Park.
The 31-year-old managed just eight touches in the final 31 minutes and did not manage to get his only shot in the encounter on target.
In his assessment of the game, Cascarino – who also played for Aston Villa – was critical of Willian, who replaced injured Thomas Partey, for not making an impact as well after Arsenal dropped to 10th on the league table.
“Arsenal got frustrated,” Cascarino told talkSport. “The biggest disappointment for Arsenal is when you see two players that come on, who have been quality… Willian was poor, he kept giving away the ball and Aubameyang.
“These are two top-quality players who have done a hell of a lot in football that came on and made no impact at all.
“Aubameyang, I didn’t even know he’d really come on.
“He’s been far too anonymous this year as a player because he is a player that Mikel Arteta can’t afford for him not to change games and make things happen.”
After scoring 22 Premier League goals in each of the last two seasons for the Gunners, Aubameyang is struggling to find the back of the net with just five goals in 19 league appearances so far this campaign.
He will be aiming to fire Arteta's side to winning ways, after going winless in their last three games, when they host Leeds United for their next match on February 14.