They are big boots to fill. Scrap that, make that “massive” boots to fill. When Martin Keown likened Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, the former Gunners defender set the bar a whole lot higher for the Gabon striker.
Henry? Well, he needs no introduction, of course, but a quick recap of his net-busting exploits in north London shows you he plundered 228 goals in 377 appearances and got his hands on a glut of silverware before switching to Barcelona. Oh, and let us not forget he won the World Cup with France in 1998. So, yes, massive boots indeed!
But Keown has obviously seen something in the former Borussia Dortmund frontman that caused him to make the comparison. For the record, here is what he said following Unai Emery’s 0-0 draw with Sporting Lisbon on Thursday night in the Europa League:
“He is the closest thing to Thierry Henry that I have seen since he left the club, he really is that good.
“Someone in his camp should be pushing him on, dragging that performance out of him because he is a special talent, he scores lots of goals and it’s just a hunger gest him to boiling point. I don’t think he was there against Sporting.”
Aubameyang, who is aged 29, does score a lot of goals, Keown is right. He has hit nine goals and provided one assist in 15 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions so far in this campaign — and he goes again on Sunday when Wolves face Arsenal at the Emirates in a Premier League encounter.
Meanwhile, industrious midfielder Lucas Torreira, who is aged 22, has lifted the lid on his aim for this season. The Uruguay schemer says qualifying for the Champions League would please him, adding:
“I really hope that we can achieve some really big goals this season. We are obviously competing in four competitions, so it’s a case of so far so good.
“We’ve had a very good run so far, that has taken a lot of hard work but the team is working hard and improving with each game. I think a good objective for us would be to try and qualify for the Champions League, that would be fantastic. We also want to fight until the end in the Premier League, the Europa League, Carabao Cup and the FA Cup too.”
Torreira, a £26million summer signing from Italian outfit Sampdoria, has won the fans over and has even been compared to Patrick Vieira by some; high praise indeed.
The diminutive ace takes it all in his stride, adding:
“If the fans are comparing me and my game to Patrick Vieira, that’s amazing. It makes me very proud but I need to grow a bit before I can be as tall as him! But he’s an amazing player, I remember getting up in the mornings in Uruguay to watch him. I feel very happy and am looking to help the team. I’m trying to improve as a player and do what’s best for the team. Right now, we’re doing very well so it’s just about doing that.”