Football

Arsenal boss reserves special praise for skipper’s work rate

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s form and output has won him praise from manager Mikel Arteta, who admits he has “never seen” the levels of performance the Arsenal captain is now putting up.

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s form and output has won him praise from manager Mikel Arteta, who admits he has “never seen” the levels of performance the Arsenal captain is now putting up.

The Gabonese international scored just ten Premier League goals in a difficult 2020/21 season, but he already has four this season and has been particularly brilliant in recent triumphs over Tottenham and Aston Villa.

“I have never seen Auba transmit what he is doing now,” Arteta told Arsenal’s website ahead of his side’s clash with Leeds in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.

“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 is to press the ball, and when he takes it his movement, his link, 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.”

After a disastrous start, the Gunners’ recent form has seen them climb to tenth in the league table, and Arteta stated that things are starting to fall into place for both Aubameyang and the rest of the team.

“For me it is a click. It is a combination that realising that his role has to go well beyond that.

“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. I would say the same with Laca, look at what he is transmitting, not just doing or playing, what he is transmitting. 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,” Arteta added.

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