Mikel Arteta has backed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score the goals Arsenal need between now and the end the season, having come through the most difficult period of his North London career.
The striker who routinely gets 30 goals a season, went through something of goal drought, tied in with the team’s inability to make chances, niggling injuries, and some trying off-field issues.
However, he’s looked a lot more like his usual self of late, with 10 goals in his last 14 games, and Arteta acknowledged the improvement.
“Yes, obviously, they are much better stats,” he said “and more related to who he is and what he needs to bring to the team.
“But still, I think he could score many more. I think he can do better in other aspects. He needs to keep having that mentality and he has that mentality.
“We need players performing at their maximum, with Auba he’s in a much better place and the team will be in a much better place because at the end, things are decided in both boxes and what he can produce in the opponents’ box, he has an incredible impact for our team.”
And on the timing of this improvement, with Europa League knock-out ties and still points to play for in the league, he backed the striker to do the business – hopefully starting in Athens on Thursday night.
“In big moments, you’re going to have the need for big players performing and making the difference,” he said.
“At the end, it’s what is going to define where we are ending the season. It looks like in this moment, he is firing, he’s happy.
“Physically, he’s in a good moment and he’s full of confidence. It’s a good moment for him and the team.”