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Mikel Arteta is confident he can talk Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang into signing a new deal to stay at Arsenal despite it looking like the forward is heading out the door in the summer.
With just one year left on his contract when the summer arrives, it’s decision time for both Arsenal and the player. Either he signs or we sell, the club simply cannot afford to lose an asset that valuable for nothing once again.
Under Emery, there was no question Auba was off. In fact, had Emery still been at the club in January I am convinced Aubameyang would be in Spain right now.
But he isn’t. He’s at Arsenal and scoring big, important goals while also showing the manager he’s well up for the fight.
So will he stay?
Arteta, speaking to the press after Arsenal’s big win against Everton on Sunday believes so.
“The [clubs who want him] are completely right because he is a superb player,” said Arteta. “He completely deserves to be liked by all the other teams. Hopefully we can convince him that this is the right place for him and that he has a future here.
“Hopefully [the wins will help] but as well what we are trying to do. Does he really enjoy walking out onto the pitch every time he goes? It’s very much part of what we are trying to build here and I think he is with that mindset at the moment.
“I think it’s been tough for a player like him, because there’s been a lot of disappointment in the last few months or years because he has big expectations and he wants to play for the biggest clubs in the biggest tournaments.
“He wants to be up there with the best players in the world, and we have to try and support him and give him everything as a club, so that he really feels fulfilled here. That’s the challenge that we have.”
“I had two questions [about Auba’s attitude to defending],” he explained. “One was whether he wanted to do it, or could he not do it physically? So once I found out that physically he could do it, it was about convincing him to do it and that he can do it every three days. He’s showing that.
“But I’m so happy with Auba because he is scoring very important goals for us, but as well as a captain he’s giving a great example to everyone else.
“That a player of his calibre is able to work the way that he is working defensively… because of the demands of the matchday are big, and he is willing and he is happily doing it and I think we should pay regards to him.”