Mikel Arteta says he’s happy with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s performances and that he’s not concerned that his captain has gone four games without a goal.
The Gabon international appeared to have picked up where he left off last season when he netted near-identical goals against Liverpool in the Community Shield and at Fulham on the opening weekend of the Premier League.
However, since putting pen-to-paper on his contract extension, he’s dried up in front of goal.
Facing the media via Zoom ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash with Rapid Vienna, Arteta was asked about the form of his star man.
“With all the strikers, if you ask them when they don’t score for three or four games if there are concerns… in my opinion he is performing right now,” he said.
“He could’ve scored again on Saturday [against Man City] in a one-on-one situation where he normally does.
“We’re trying to get him in better positions as frequently as we can to give him the best possible chance. Goals will come.”
Despite having the option to put 12 players on the bench, the Gunners have travelled to the Austrian capital with a 21-man squad.
Included in the ranks are Shkodran Mustafi, available for the first time since picking up a hamstring issue in last season’s FA Cup semi-final, and new signing Thomas Partey.
The boss had warm words to say about both.
“We have Musti back after a long injury,” he confirmed. “He’s done really well and he looks fit to play, so we still have a big squad. We have 21 players here and we will make the decision tomorrow who starts.
On Partey’s debut at the weekend, he added: “He reacted really well, he came on and look strong and confident [against Man City] and he added something positive to the team.
“It was a very short turnaround for him since he joined the team, he had a day, a day-and-a-half only in training. He has done a few more training sessions and he looks ready to start.”