Former Celtic and Arsenal attacker Charlie Nicholas has warned the Gunners that Odsonne Edouard would not be a suitable like-for-like replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Arsenal skipper's contract expires next summer and, with negotiations over an extension hitting a brick wall over wage demands, there has been speculation that the club could look to cash in when the transfer window reopens rather than risk losing him for free in 2021.
Celtic striker Edouard has been touted as a possible replacement for the Gabon international, having scored 27 goals and registered 19 assists in 45 games this season, but Nicholas believes that the Frenchman is more similar to his compatriot Alexandre Lacazette.
"There's been a lot of talk of Aubameyang being sold, but Edouard would not be the answer. He plays differently, more like Lacazette. Aubameyang is about pace and movement. Although he likes to play the number nine role, he does not play it as well as Edouard could. Similarly, Edouard could not play in the position that Aubameyang does, out wide on the left," Nicholas told Sky Sports News.
"He wants to be the key figurehead of the team as the link man through the middle. For that reason, I do not see Arsenal targeting him as a replacement for Aubameyang. Arsenal are in a horrible position when it comes to sorting out Aubameyang's contract offer. Barcelona and Real Madrid have been mentioned and they have the funds to buy him.
"Edouard is too similar to Lacazette, and if he was to move, it paints a different picture. Edouard would then fit into the Arsenal team as the number nine. You would still need to give him time as he's not been playing every week against Premier League quality. The crux of the matter is whether he would be fair value at £40m for Arsenal. The only way for me he would is if Lacazette or Aubameyang were to leave.
"I just do not think Arsenal can afford to let Aubameyang's contract run out, so they will have to renew it. Despite that, I do not see the Edouard to Arsenal link materialising, but I could certainly see him moving to the Premier League. He could be more suitable to Everton if they build their team in the right way. I have watched them quite a bit this season."