Arsenal boss Arteta hits back at Aubameyang critics
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Everton FC at Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang does not have to lift silverware to be considered a 'world-class' striker. 

Aubameyang has been the north London giants' stand-out performer since he signed for the club in a record £56m big money move from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, netting 60 goals in only 95 appearances since then.

The striker also grabbed a brace last time out to help Arsenal beat Everton 3-2 in an exciting game at the Emirates. Arteta's resurgent team have begun to climb the Premier League table after a poor start to the season which saw previous boss Unai Emery sacked. 

However, the 30-year-old Gabon international has yet to clinch any trophies in N5 and has been linked with a move to Barcelona

While the former Saint Etienne striker landed the Coupe de Ligue with Les Verts, as well as the DFB Pokal and DFL Supercup during his time at Dortmund, the Laval-born attacker has never won a league title or a European trophy and is desperate to ply his trade in the Champions League again.

Yet, it is the same story for Spurs captain Harry Kane, who has scored 136 Premier League goals for the Lillywhites but still has no trophies in his cabinet to show for it.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's Europa League against Olympiakos, Arteta said: “Harry Kane has scored 30 goals [in a season] and never won the Premier League, you know?

“There are a lot of good examples of players that do phenomenally, but unfortunately there are a lot of top teams in this country and only one wins the league.

"So you can’t have everything in life."

Hot-shot Aubameyang remains under-appreciated

Arteta's tactical decision to play Aubameyang down the left channel instead of through the middle has brought the best out of him since the highly-rated 37-year-old boss took charge before Christmas.

Aubameyang has netted four goals in his last five games, helping the Gunners to extend their unbeaten run to 10 matches in all competitions. He's looked even more clinical this year - with the star striker yet to go more than three league games without scoring so far, during what has been a difficult campaign for the club. 

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville also believes Aubameyang is still under-appreciated in England despite his impressive record for the Gunners.

And Arteta agreed with the Sky Sports pundit, saying: “If he had been top scorer in the league and won the league, then he would have been voted the best player in the league for sure.” 

“You need both. You need individual performance and you need the collective side of your team as well to support that.

"That is where we have to make a step forward to try to convince these top players to want to stay at our club and be successful and be happy.”

Big decision looms for Aubemeyang

Aubameyang will have a single year left on his contract with the Gunners this summer and there have been few signs he will renew terms as of yet.

Having been at AC Milan as well as Lille and Monaco on loan, Aubameyang is gearing up for what could be the biggest decision of his career. Should he sign a new deal and spearhead the Arteta revolution, or look for one last payday, join La Liga giants Barca and once again breathe the rarefied air of the Champions League?

However, Arteta remains positive, maintaining talks are ongoing.

“The club has a very idea of how he wants to develop things,” he added.

"They are in constant communication with players’ agents and they know the plan better than I do.

"I completely trust them on that.”

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