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How Auba and Henry are similar... but different

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

As soon as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was announced as our new No 14, fans and pundits were quick to liken the Gabon international to Thierry Henry.

Auba certainly started his Arsenal career with a finish our record scorer would have been proud of, impudently dinking the ball over Jordan Pickford to cap a promising debut last weekend.

Arsène Wenger is pleased with how the forward is settling in here - but what about those comparisons?

“I would say [Auba is like] Thierry Henry with his quality of runs,” the boss said. “But it’s a bit too early to compare him to the best player ever who played here. He has played one game. But it’s a good example to follow.

“His finish was brilliant. His finishing is good. You don’t score by coincidence for so many years, if you score many goals. Even in five-a-side he’s able to score goals, so when the guys can repeat that at the top level it means they have that quality. 

“Running-wise, he’s a good example to follow. But Thierry came a bit more to the ball as well, participated more in the game.

“He looks to be a happy boy. He has a positive smile and very professional attitude. It’s a bit early for me to tell you more about him - it’s only [been] one week. 

“I met him a few times before by coincidence and he looks highly focused on his job. He looks a guy who needs to be completely focused, involved in his team. He looks to me like that.”


Our game at Leicester has been postponed

Our Premier League fixture at Leicester City has been postponed.

The match, originally scheduled for Saturday, March 17, will be moved due to the Foxes' participation in the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final over the same weekend.

Stay close to for news of when the game will be rearranged for.


Lacazette out with a knee problem

Alexandre Lacazette in action against Chelsea

Striker Alex Lacazette had an arthroscopy on his left knee in London on Tuesday morning.

The minor procedure was a success and he will now undergo a period of rehabilitation.

It is envisaged that he will return to the squad within four to six weeks.


Ainsley - What I've learnt from each position

It has been quite a journey for Ainsley Maitland-Niles: from striker, to winger, to central midfielder, to now playing on the left side of our defence.

The 20-year-old has made a big impression since breaking into the first team, but what lessons has he picked up along the way from his early days as a forward to where he is now?

"It’s nice to have that sort of responsibility [as a striker in my early days], that ‘Ainsley’s going to get you goals’" he told Arsenal Player. "I did that most years but then there was a year where I was a bit too small and people started growing quickly. Then they decided to put me on the wing.
"It’s just more of a movement thing [out there] and trying to off-balance defenders so that you can get behind them. I was always quick so it was just about using your brain more.
"Me and the coaches then had a few discussions where they believed that I had enough technique and some of my talents were wasted out wide when the game goes through the middle. They took a gamble with me by deciding to play me in midfield for a few games. 

"It paid off, I had a few good games in there and they saw me start to grow physically. My footballing intelligence started to get better too and I sat down with Carl Laraman and Steve Gatting, and we made a plan on how I could develop as a central midfielder.
"Being a wide player is similar to playing as a left back or left wing-back," he added. "Central midfield is obviously about the technique and awareness, so you always know what’s going on around you. When I go up front, or around those sorts of areas, setting people up, my end product needs to be right."


'What can I say? I love playing with Auba'

It did not take long for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's partnership to blossom in Arsenal colours.

Just 37 minutes into their respective home debuts against Everton, the pair combined for the Gabon striker to score - and while they could not repeat the trick in the north London derby, the early signs are encouraging.

"We did not have too much time to train together [before the Everton game]," Mkhitaryan told Arsenal Player. "He came a bit late, like two games before the game and he had been training only twice. 

"Two days wasn’t enough to remember all the stuff that we did together but in the game it worked very well.

"I thought it could only be in a dream that we could join another club other than Dortmund but I am very happy for that. I know him very well, he is one of my best friends and one of the the best team-mates I have every had. 

"I am very happy to have him here and I think all the fans are happy to see him in an Arsenal shirt. What can I say? I love playing with him. 

"Everyone knows that Mesut is one of the best players in the world," he continued. "It is only happiness and joy to play next to him because he understands very well the  game and has great vision, amazing technique and he is the best in his position."


How Ainsley was scouted while playing in the park

Ainsley Maitland-Niles may have been an Arsenal player since he was nine years old, but his journey to our academy started way before that.

The versatile midfielder, then just seven years old, was playing up front for local side Lakeview when he was first spotted by our scouts.
“I was playing in the park,” he told Arsenal Player. “They didn’t say anything to me but when I was sat in the car after the game, my dad turned around to me in the back seat and told me that there were scouts watching me.
“He didn’t exactly say who, but he told me that there were a few clubs watching me. I didn’t think anything of it at the time because I didn’t think about academies back then. I was just thinking that football was fun.
“I remember at my first Hale End trial there were loads of kids there,” Maitland-Niles added. “There were about 60 or 70 kids and we were split up into different teams. There were lots of pitches with different matches going on at the same time.
“Now, I’d put joining the academy in the same category as making my first-team debut because now I know how much it really means to play for Arsenal. To go out there at Emirates Stadium every week is an amazing feeling.
“I don’t think I knew how much [joining Arsenal’s academy] meant to me back then but if I heard that about my own kid, if I had one, I’d be over the moon. I know how much it really means and what sort of pathway it can lead you to.”

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