Mikel Arteta has revealed that he thinks Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the key to Arsenal’s success this season.
The Gabon striker has struggled for much of this campaign and came under fire after missing a hatful of chances in the first leg of the Gunners’ Europa League tie against Benfica before failing to make much of an impact in the defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League.
However, he did his talking on the pitch with two goals at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, including an 87th minute winner to ensure that his side were able to progress to the Europa League Round of 16.
And now Arteta has said that getting the best out of his captain will be a deciding factor in whether or not Arsenal are able to achieve their aims for this season.
“Yes,” said the Spaniard ahead of his side’s trip to Leicester in the Premier League on Sunday when asked if Aubameyang‘s form was improving.
“He is getting into much better positions, his rhythm during the games is much better with and without the ball, his movement.
“The week before when we played Benfica, he had three big chances and I am not worried about him missing them because I know if he gets in those positions, he is going to be scoring consistently so this is what he has to demand of himself.
“If we have Auba at his best, as a team we obviously have a much better chance to be successful.”
Aubameyang also had Bukayo Saka to thank for his return to form last night as the England international picked out another two assists for goals at vital points against Benfica.
The 19-year-old is widely considered one of the the brightest prospects in world football right now, but Arteta was keen to keep his feet on the ground.
“How good can he be is a question nobody can answer,” said Arteta of the versatile winger.
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“How good he is and how good he wants to be, that is probably where we can find a lot of answers for why he is doing so well.
“He is a boy that is constantly willing to learn, to get better, to work on the things he can do better and he is a very humble and hard working boy.
“When that happens normally, and you have the talent he has, you can go a long way.”