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Africa Sports News of Saturday, 3 April 2021

Source: Ghana Soccernet

Aubameyang must put up a 'different form' to propel Arsenal - Arteta

Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal need to see a 'different' Pierre Emerick Aubameyang to achieve their targets this season but insists his teammates have a role to play too.

Captain Aubameyang has scored 13 times this season, a figure some way short of his final totals of 29 and 31 in his last two full seasons at Arsenal.

Arsenal's inconsistency as a team has been among the factors that have not helped their influential talisman's cause this season and manager Arteta said: "We talked for months about the ratio of goals we need him to score to give us the best possible chance of being at the top.

"It has not been what it has been in recent years and it's a factor that is contributed to by a lot of things that the team has to do on the pitch. It is not just his thing.

"But obviously we need Auba in a different form in the next games to give us our best chance to finish where we want to finish the season, that's clear."

On a personal level, Aubameyang's campaign has been disrupted by a couple of injuries, he understandably took time out to care for his ill mother in January and was dropped for Arsenal's last home league game, the north London derby, after arriving late.

Though Arteta firmly dismissed suggestions that any change in his form can be linked to Aubemayang signing a bumper new contract worth around £350,000-per-week ahead of the start of the season.

He said: "It is easy to connect things like that, but I am not suspicious of that. I have seen, and we have had many conversations, about what he wanted to do from last year's point of view to his near future in the next two years, and he was very ambitious with that.

"To maintain that level is really complicated but he is trying his best, he is trying hard. That is what he is aiming to do."