Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ‘playing with a smile on his face’ again
Mikel Arteta claims that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is thriving as captain of the young Arsenal team and is ‘playing with a smile on his face’ again after getting back into form after his poor season last year.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started the season well with four goals
- The Arsenal striker is coming off a bad season last time in front of goal
- Mikel Arteta says the 32-year-old is bringing positive energy to the team
- The Spaniard also praised the leadership skills displayed by Aubameyang
Mikel Arteta has praised Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s leadership skills and admitted that his Arsenal captain is “playing with a smile on his face” once again.
Aubameyang endured the toughest season of his career at the Emirates last year, scoring just 10 Premier League goals and the Gunners finishing in eighth place.
But the Gabonese striker has returned to form this season with four goals in his last six top flight matches. And Arteta admits that Aubameyang is thriving as Arsenal’s young team captain after talks he had with the 32-year-old in the summer.
Mikel Arteta says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) is ‘playing with a smile on his face’ again
“Obviously, when you have a season in which as a team and individually we have not met our expectations, we have to find the reasons,” explained Arsenal manager Arteta. “How can we change, how can we improve, how can we help him improve certain things that are going to have a great impact on the team.
“He has been very willing to lead from the beginning and I am very happy because his role is different than it was two or three years ago. Now he needs to lead in every way and he’s doing it and I’m very happy with that.
“I think he is enjoying it and, as you can see on the field, he is playing with a smile on his face. He transmits energy, passion, will, not only on the pitch, but also off the pitch.
The Arsenal forward is coming off his weakest season in front of goal at the Emirates
Arteta is satisfied with the impact of Aubameyang this season and has returned to form
That’s what we want. A happy Auba is linked to his character and that is what he is capable of transmitting to everyone. That energy is always positive for the team. ‘
Aubameyang is likely to team up with Alexandre Lacazette again against Leicester on Saturday after enjoying success together in last Friday’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa.
Arteta, however, is still sweating from the fitness of some of his players, including center midfielder Ben White, after an illness that has plagued his team this week.
Arteta admitted that Aubameyang is thriving as captain of Arsenal’s youth-looking team
“There have been some who have not been able to train,” Arteta admitted. ‘It was a little dizzy, having a stomachache and things like that. But I hope everyone is okay today. ‘
Arteta also downplayed conversations linking him to the vacant manager position at Barcelona, the club where he began his career. Ronald Koeman was sacked by the La Liga giants this week and while former Barça star Xavi is the favorite to replace him, Arteta’s name has also been mentioned.
But the Spaniard said: ‘I am very happy at Arsenal. I feel privileged to be here. My only focus is here. ‘