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Football

‘I prefer this striker’ Mikel Arteta hails inform Aubameyang

Aubameyang inform Featured
Aubameyang celebrates after scoring against Norwich City. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is back to his goal-scoring form and he prefers this version of the striker.

After a poor campaign by the forward in 2020-21, Arsenal captain Aubameyang is the club’s top scorer in the Premier League with four goals from eight appearances this season, but his manager has been equally as impressed with the 32-year-old’s improved all-round game.

The Gabon forward ranks second at the club for possession won in the final third in the Premier League with four behind only Emile Smith Rowe (nine).

Aubameyang

Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring against Aston Villa on Friday, 22 October. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

The forward has also outperformed his expected goals (xG) value of 3.08, suggesting his finishing has been above the standard that would be expected from the chances he has been presented with.

The former owner of the golden boot ranks fifth in Arsenal’s squad for chances created with eight chances created, providing one assist from those opportunities.

Arteta feels that Aubameyang is giving off an energy that he has never done before and is becoming a more complete player in the process.

“I have never seen Auba transmit what he is doing now,” Arteta told Arsenal’s official website ahead of Tuesday’s EFL Cup tie with fellow Premier League side Leeds United, against whom Aubameyang netted a hat-trick last season.

“Apart from the goals, the celebration when they put the ball in the net, do you see the way he runs, the purpose he has to press the ball, and when he takes it his movement, his link, how is leading the game – that is when he is changing the rest, not when he is static and then he puts the ball in the net. I prefer this Auba.”

Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is impressed by the in-form Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saying he prefers this type of striker. | PHOTO: Arsenal TV |

“It is clicking. It is a combination of realizing that his role has to go well beyond [scoring]. What was good, or very good, two or three years ago, with his role in this team, at this club, is not enough. He had to take a step forward.”

The boss explained that both Aubameyang and fellow striker Alexandre Lacazette have a responsibility to lead a young squad on and off the field.

“I would say the same with Laca, look what he is transmitting, not just doing or playing, what he is transmitting,” Arteta continued. “For me, that is really, really important.

“They lead by example and not only there but as well at the training ground. Certain things, a role they could have had three years ago in the squad, now it has changed.

“The group’s age is a little bit closer [together] so they are experiencing most of the same things and they talk a lot about it. Then we have the senior players that they have to lead and they have to take that role, and they are doing that in a different way.

“There are players now that on that pitch that they are able to transmit something and change certain behaviors and attitudes in other players. That is contagious, and for me that is leadership.”

So far this season, Lacazette has not played a bigger role always coming off the bench but was handed his first league start of the campaign as Arsenal beat Aston Villa 3-1, producing an impressive display despite not getting on the scoresheet himself.

Arsenal sits 10th on the league table with 14 points but with the same points as seventh-placed Manchester United albeit with a poor goal difference. The Gunners are eight points behind leaders and city rivals, Chelsea.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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