Mikel Arteta believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang does not need to win titles with Arsenal to be considered a world-class striker, pointing to Tottenham’s Harry Kane as an example of a player who has enjoyed very little trophy success but is widely heralded.
Sky Sportspundit Gary Neville said onMonday Night Footballthat Aubameyang was “world-class” but did not get the credit of other players despite his impressive goalscoring feats.
Since joining Arsenal in the January transfer window of 2018, Aubameyang has hit 49 Premier League goals, level with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and eclipsing all other competition.
Arteta, though, does not feel Arsenal’s lack of success should go against his captain and highlighted Kane – often considered one of the best forwards around – and his own lack of success with Spurs as his example.
“I think they do talk but obviously with top players who are playing at clubs that are winning constantly, there is more impact on that,” he said when asked why Aubameyang was sometimes not listed with the current top strikers.
“But we all know how good Auba is. It is remarkable what he is doing and how consistent he has been over the years to do it, which is very very difficult to do.
“Harry Kane has scored 30 goals and never won the Premier League – 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.
“I think if he had been the 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.”
Aubameyang’s achievements in the Premier League are borne out by the fact he has scored more goals than Sergio Aguero since he arrived in north London.
Arteta worked with Aguero at Manchester City and, while he refused to draw comparisons between the pair, he insists both are similarly impressive.
“I wouldn’t like to compare but what I can say with Auba is that he’s right there with the best of the scorers in this league,” he added.
“In the last 10 years if you look at his record and what he’s done in the game it’s phenomenal. In my opinion, he’s up there with the best.”
‘I trust club to sort Auba’s contract’
Aubameyang’s current deal at the Emirates expires in the summer of 2021, leaving Arsenal in a difficult predicament if a new contract is not agreed ahead of next season.
Arteta says he has complete trust in the club’s board to sort out the situation and understands there is a constant dialogue between all parties.
“The club has a very good 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.”