Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring Arsenal's third goal with Bukayo Saka. (David Price-Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has explained why he calls his Arsenal team-mate Bukayo Saka the “Little Chilli”.

Saka, still just 18, has enjoyed a breakout season at the Emirates scoring four goals and contributing 11 assists in all competitions.

The young English attacker has quickly worked his way into Mikel Arteta’s plans and earned himself a unique nickname in the process.

Arsenal’s captain giving Saka the label of “Little Chilli” in a nod to the youngster’s high-energy displays.

“I call him this [Little Chilli] but in French so it is ‘Petit Piment’,” Aubameyang told Sky Sports. “It’s because he is like a little chilli, so much energy, so much power and is quite small so it’s funny.”

Despite the funny nickname, Aubameyang is very serious about just how good Saka can become in the years to come, noting that he’s got the ideal mentality to be a success.

“Oh for sure, he is one of the best, for sure. What I like about him is he is always listening to advice from us the experienced players,” Aubameyang said.

“I really like it and he is really humble, he always wants to go forwards and learn more and try to improve his game so definitely he is one of the best.


“Of course, I think he’s 18 so he has a lot of time, but as I said to him the most important thing is to enjoy, because at this age to be at this club is really special and he just has to continue like this, to keep improving and I am sure he will go straight to the top.”

Arteta, meanwhile, wants Saka to enjoy his breakout season, warning football is a mix of good and bad moments.

“First of all, enjoy the moment,” Arteta said of his message for Saka. “Football has some really good moments and some difficult moments.

“You are doing so well, enjoy it. But then understand these changes in 24-48 hours. You have to live [on] your toes all the time, ready to react and act.

“Bukayo is like this. Every training session, he doesn’t give you any sign there’s something different. There are going to be moments when he was a little bit up and down. It’s normal because it happens to every player, whether you are 18 or 38. He needs to understand that, take it naturally and we are here to support him, to try to make him better, and that’s it – enjoy.”

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