Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says he enjoys offering guidance to Arsenal’s youngsters in his role as club captain and revealed he had to put an arm around Eddie Nketiah, who he believes has a big future at the club, after the striker’s red card against Leicester.
After praising the impact of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli in last week’s column in the official matchday programme, this week, the Gabon international reflected on life as a senior figure in the camp.
“It’s a great experience for us experienced guys to be playing alongside all these good young players that we have now,” he wrote.
“Im really happy to have them with us, because it’s really fun playing alongside players with that energy.
He added: “As captain of the club, I really like the responsibility I have to set an example to them.
“It’s funny because I remember very well being in their position – being a younger player who looks up to the captain. But now I am the one trying to give the advice and what I really like is that when I do talk, they always listen, and they try to take the best out of what I say to them. It’s something that makes me really proud and I want to keep doing it.”
Having already missed Sunday’s derby, Nketiah will miss tonight’s match with Liverpool and Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City. His three-game suspension, earned minutes after coming off the bench against Leicester, couldn’t have come at a worse time and it sounds like he’s been a bit down in the dumps about it.
“Eddie Nketiah was really disappointed to be sent off and to be missing these games,” revealed Aubameyang.
“But what he did can happen in a match. Everybody knows he didn’t want to hurt the player, he was going for the ball, like he always does, and was unlucky.
“It was similar for me earlier in the season when we played at Crystal Palace. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, I apologised, but I had to miss three games too and you use it to learn from.
“Eddie is going to be a big player for this club for a long time hopefully, and he will go through moments like this in his career.
“What I really like about him is how hard he works – the guy never stops running! And he needs to keep that part of his game too, closing down players and putting defenders under pressure, because you can get goals that way as well, just like he did at Southampton recently.”