Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored yet again last weekend in a hard-fought victory over Southampton. As he has now been at the club for two months, and is ineligible for Arsenal’s second leg of their latest Europa League tie, this may be the ideal opportunity to analyse how the striker has settled in in North London.
Aubameyang netted his 6th goal in Arsenal colours on Sunday, in only his 7th game. Remarkably, this takes his total season tally to an exceptional 19 goals in just 23 games.
A man blessed with outstanding physical attributes, since he signed for Dortmund he has become a world class goal machine. But no one will argue that the primary reason that Arsenal acquired him for a relatively small amount of money is his supposed lack of cohesion with his teammates in Germany.
This may transpire to be the case over time at Arsenal. He is a big personality, which can always lead to clashes with similarly minded players. The important thing for the club at this stage is that they have a world class striker leading the line, and it is vital that he continues to perform for as long as possible.
Top Class Player
He has a single assist to his name too, meaning he is involved in a goal for Arsenal every single game. The next player to even come close to this is Aaron Ramsey, who has been involved in 0.6 goals a game. Some way off.
Of course its early days, but this shows the sheer quality the Gabonese has brought to the side. What will also please Arsenal fans at this stage is his all-round play. He has averaged 1 dribble per game at Arsenal, compared to only 0.3 dribbles per game at Dortmund.
For a player of his ability, he needs to be running the opposition defence ragged, taking the ball round opponents and using his physique to keep possession or create a chance. He has only taken 2.4 shots per game at Arsenal, much lower than the 3.6 shots per game he had in the Bundesliga.
This change in environment may facilitate more chances being put away by Aubameyang. Arsenal like to walk it in, and create the perfect opportunity for strikers to score. If that striker is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, more often than not those chances will get converted to goals.
The task for Wenger (or whoever comes in next season) will be to keep his mind on the job, and encourage the striker to hit 25+ goals in the league next season.
If he can do that, surrounding by Lacazette, Ozil and Ramsey, next season could be the year Arsenal fans have been waiting for. For the first time in a long time, Arsenal are in possession of a host of title-winning talent.