Three players must bounce back after the international break, including the 31-year-old Arsenal player
Nathaniel KayApril 2, 2021
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
Leaving the national team can relieve the pressure on club football and allow players to reflect on their performance at home.
Some will look back on their season with positivity so far, while others will be happy to escape the social media hysteria.
Here are three Premier League stars who we think need to be in action immediately after the international break.
Pierre-Emerick-Aubameyang – Arsenal
As the late great Jimmy Greaves said, “Football is a fun old game.” You can go from hero to zero in the blink of an eye.Then again, it’s a fickle old world where players can turn their fortunes around quickly
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has had a tough time at Arsenal.
Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images
The Gunners captain was just a few months old, scoring twice in the FA Cup final win over Chelsea and securing a new three-year deal.
But his situation has changed dramatically in recent weeks.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has reportedly dropped Aubameyang in the north London derby after he was reported to be late. The club captain remained on the bench during Arsenal’s 2-1 win.
He then played the full 90 minutes in Arsenal’s Europa League loss to Olympiacos and started in the 3-3 draw with West Ham.
However, just before Alexandre Lacazette scored the equaliser, Arteta dragged the 31-year-old into the water.
Aubameyang has had a bad few weeks at Arsenal and he is hoping to get his season back on track when the Gunners take on Liverpool at home on Saturday (8pm).
A break might be good for him. Aubameyang scored in Gabon’s 3-0 win over the Democratic Republic of Congo in the African Cup of Nations qualifying group stage, with his country at the top of the group stage.
Aubameyang has to Gabon missed qualifiers in Angola on Monday due to covid regulations.
Eric Lamela – Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
On the other side of north London is the workplace of Eric Lamela, another player who has gone through all phases of the season, good and bad.
But while Aubameyang experienced his Clint Eastwood moment in two weeks, Lamela did it in 45 minutes.
After coming on as an early substitute in the derby, Lamela lit up the Emirates Stadium with a superb Rabona goal to put Tottenham in the lead.
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images
He then tarnished his fine effort by getting himself two yellow cards in quick succession.
Lamela often buys game time at Tottenham, so a red card in such an important game can hardly win Mourinho’s trust.
However, the tenacious Argentine has a chance at redemption when Tottenham travel to Newcastle United on Sunday (2.5pm). Without the Argentina international, at least he will rest.
Jack Grealish – Aston Villa
Without a doubt, our next pick is popular among the home fans – Jack Grealish. The local lad has been Aston Villa’s golden boy for years.
The only downside to a fine individual campaign is Greeley’s shin injury in February.
Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images
Grealish has not played since then and was forced to miss England’s three World Cup qualifiers.
It will be a blow to Villa’s talisman, as he wholeheartedly hopes to represent his country at the European Championships in June.
Watching the likes of Mason Mount and Phil Foden shine, must have been a tough pill to swallow.
However, Villa manager Dean Smith said he believed Greeley would be fit for Villa’s next game, home against Fulham on Sunday (4.30pm).
This would certainly give Grealish the perfect opportunity to show what England, especially the villains, are missing.
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Nathaniel is a football journalist and a graduate of the University of Derby. He spent two years at Burton Albion as part of the media team. Nathaniel contributes regularly to the club’s official website and matchday programming. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and covered venues ranging from non-league to Premier League.
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