Mikel Arteta agrees with Gary Neville’s suggestion that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should be considered a Premier League great by claiming that the striker would have a Player of the Year award to his name had Arsenal won the league.
Gary Neville described Aubameyang as “world class” following the Gabon international’s brace against Newcastle on Sunday, which took him to the top of the Premier League scoring chart alongside Jamie Vardy with 17 goals.
An impressive top-flight record of 49 goals in 74 appearances also led the Sky Sports pundit to say: “We don’t talk of him as a Premier League great but I think we have to.
“I think this lad has been absolutely sensational and should be given the credit he deserves.”
Arteta was posed with Neville’s assertion before Arsenal’s home clash against Olympiakos on Thursday, and was in agreement.
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“If he had been top scorer in the league and won the league, then he would have been voted the best player in the league for sure,” Arteta said.
“You need both. You need individual performance and you need the collective side of your team as well to support that.
“That is where we have to make a step forward to try to convince these top players to want to stay at our club and be successful and be happy.”
Arteta also claimed that Aubameyang does not need silverware to cement his place as a Premier League great.
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“Harry Kane has scored 30 goals and never won the Premier League, you know?” the Arsenal boss joked.
“There are a lot of good examples of players that do phenomenally.
“But unfortunately there are a lot of top teams in this country and only one wins the league. So you can’t have everything in life.”
Aubameyang had directly responded to Neville’s praise on Twitter earlier in the week.
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“Wow After That, i [sic] can also say Aubameyang is a premier League Great,” he joked, “just kidding but thanks appreciate that.”
The Gunners are now focused on keeping Aubameyang, whose deal expires in June 2021.
Touching on contract talks, Arteta said: “The club has a very idea of how he wants to develop things.
“They are in constant communication with players’ agents and they know the plan better than I do. I completely trust them on that.”
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