Unai Emery praises “killer” Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and “extraordinary” Granit Xhaka

Villarreal coach Unai Emery has singled out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Granit Xhaka for praise ahead of the crucial Europa League semi-final against Arsenal.

The former Arsenal boss returns to north London for the first time tomorrow since he was dismissed from the role in December 2019.

Aubameyang has received criticism from pundits and some fans this season, but has had illness and family issues to deal with in the background.

Emery believes the Arsenal captain is still prolific in front of goal as he showed with his strike against Newcastle on Sunday.

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“Aubameyang is a killer,” he said.

“He was, he is and he will always be. He has been through a process of being out of the team because of the illness he has had but he is back.

“Aubameyang is there to work, to defend the team and give everything for the team, hoping he can perform at the top level and if that happens he is going to be very difficult to stop.

“We expect to find the best Aubameyang possible, the same with Granit Xhaka, I think he is a great person, a really great footballer.

“He was the top scorer in the Premier League when I was there, he is really good physically and is a killer, like I said.”

Emery was also asked about Swiss midfielder Xhaka, and how he managed to turn around his Arsenal career after last season’s famous incident against Crystal Palace.

“He deserves being in a club like Arsenal and he deserves the respect of the people. I did it back then and I do it now.

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“He’s an extraordinary footballer and double extraordinary person.

“I’m really glad he’s enjoying at Arsenal.”

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