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Arsenal legend Paul Merson has weighed in on when the board should allow Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to depart the club.

In his column for Sky Sports, the pundit stated that he would keep the key man so that the club has a better chance at qualifying for the UCL, then allow him to leave for free when his deal expires in the summer of 2021 in spite of reported interest from Barcelona.

Paul said: “I’d keep him and say, you know what, give him what you can next year and get us into the Champions League and you can go for free. It’s hard to buy goals, and he’s a natural scorer.”

Arsenal are not exactly a club in desperate need of money as seen by their signings during last summer’s transfer window with the north London side spending over £140m.

The 30-year-old striker has been one of the club’s standout players in what has proven to be a poor season for the club, notching up the most PL goals (14), more than his next four teammates combined.

Should the club let him go, Mikel Arteta may well struggle to replace the player in what is proving to be an inflated transfer market.

Indeed, should Pierre-Emerick remain, the club would be holding on to a striker, who proves to be crucial to their attacking play.

He averages more shots per match than any of his teammates, showing how the star possesses better attacking instincts in and around the attack compared to his colleagues.