Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored just 25 Premier League goals since Mikel Arteta was appointed Arsenal manager in December 2019, with only four coming this term
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted he is concerned about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal drought.
The striker hasn’t scored for the Gunners since their 3-1 victory against Premier League rivals Aston Villa in October.
Arteta, however, has revealed Aubameyang is working hard to find his form ahead of the team’s trip to Everton on Monday.
“You are always [concerned] when your main striker isn’t scoring goals but he is trying his hardest,” the Arsenal manager told reporters.
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“He is aware of how much we need him as a team to score goals and at the moment, they are not coming but the rest of the things we are asking him to do, he is trying his best.”
Aubameyang has struggled for goals since Arteta was appointed Arsenal manager in December 2019.
In his first two years at the Emirates, the striker found the back of the net 43 times in the Premier League. But in the two years that’s followed, that number has dropped to 25.
Speaking after the loss to United, Arsenal legend Thierry Henry criticised Arteta for substituting Aubameyang with the score at 3-2.
“Aubameyang is your captain, he is your goal scorer,” said Henry. “15 minutes to go, you’re losing 3-2 and you take him off.
“3-2 away from home, you need a goal and you take your captain, your symbol, off the field. You know he can score you goals so something is not right there.”
Despite Henry’s concerns, Arteta has dismissed speculation surrounding his relationship with Aubameyang.
“I can guarantee you that there is not a rift,” added the Arsenal boss. “You have to respect their opinion but what I can tell you is I have the relationship I want with him.
“When I make decisions with 15, 20, 30 minutes left, or in the line-up at the start, it is done with one intention and that is to get the best out of the team.
“That [humiliated] is the last word I would use with my players because if that’s humiliation, imagine what it’s like for the ones left out of the team.”
It’s unclear whether Arteta will play Aubameyang at Goodison Park on Monday, although he is expecting a tough game.
Everton, who the Spaniard played for between 2005 and 2011, have picked up just one point from their last seven Premier League games.
“[They are] a team that wants to put things right and win,” Arteta told Arsenal’s website. “And on Monday night at Goodison, I know what I am going to expect under the lights with the fans they have. So it will be a tough game.
“There are a lot of teams that are going through that [poor form] because this is a league has become that competitive that the moment you lose a game or two, the pressure is coming for everybody.
“It is no different there, obviously it’s a very special place to go back there because I had some amazing years there, so I’m looking forward to it.”