Arteta - What Aubameyang has done is phenomenal

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is flying right now.

Our club captain netted twice against Everton last time out, taking him joint-top of the Premier League scoring charts with 17 this season.
Mikel Arteta was asked about our prolific No 14 on Wednesday afternoon, and also answered questions on Bernd Leno, Joe Willock and Alex Lacazette.
Here's what he had to say:
 on whether Aubameyang is underrated...
I think they do talk but obviously with top players who are playing at clubs that are winning constantly, there is more impact on that. But we all know how good Auba is. It is remarkable what he is doing and how consistent he has been over the years to do it, which is very very difficult to do. I think we all appreciate, at least at the club, his value and what he brings to us.
 on playing him on the left...
With the players we have at the moment, we have to try to put out a team where our goal threat is high. To do that, if I play him up there then I don’t play with Laca. They can both score goals. There are always positives and negatives - I just try to find the right balance and players that can generate chemistry between them.
 on Auba not being mentioned among Premier League greats...
Well I think 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. 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.


TrueView: Auba heads in the winner against Everton

on how Aubameyang compares with Sergio Aguero...
I wouldn’t like to compare but what I can say with Auba is that he’s right there with the best of the scorers in this league. In the last 10 years if you look at his record and what he’s done in the game it’s phenomenal. In my opinion he’s up there with the best.
 on Aubameyang's future...
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.
 on Bernd Leno playing in the Europa League...
I have been really pleased with his performances and I have been really pleased with the person that I am getting to know, how professional he is as well. The club was playing four competitions, one of the goalkeepers was playing three and Bernd was playing one. I wanted a little bit more balance at the moment and that’s it. Bernd at the moment is No 1, if Emi oversteps him then he will be No 1. Whoever I think is better to play, he will play.
 on the importance of having a No 1...
I think that position is evolving as the rest of the game is evolving and other positions are evolving too. Before it was just one and he used to play 50 games and every other one used to never play. I think at the moment managers are more flexible, I think the competition is better, there’s not that big a difference between No 1 and No 2, which is great for competition and for them to improve and challenge themselves. That I think is the reason why.


TrueView: Leno's heroics to deny Calvert-Lewin

on Joe Willock playing as a No 10...
I think so. I think he’s perfect to play in that role. I think he’s got incredible physical attributes but as well he’s a very intelligent boy. He learns really quickly, he’s very willing, I think he’s developing really really well and I’m very pleased with him.
 on how he helped Alex Lacazette rebuild his confidence...
I just tried to convince him how good he is, all the positive things he was doing for the team and how they were effective in a really good way for the team. Yes, it’s great that he can put the ball in the net but there’s a lot of aspects of the game that you’re doing really well. Keep those aspects and the rest will come because you have incredible ability to finish. And his attitude has been so good. Yes, he has been a little bit down because the pressure increases as the days go by, but then he scores two in two and hopefully there are many more to come.
 on whether the goals have lifted him...
I think so. The most powerful thing for him was the reaction of his team-mates. When you really feel that they are all behind you and really care about you, they show that reaction he was like ‘wow’.


TrueView: Laca gets his goal

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