Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reaffirms commitment to Arsenal amid Man Utd transfer link
The timing is perfect with talk of Manchester United’s interest refusing to go away.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is understood to be looking at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a potential replacement for Inter Milan-bound Romelu Lukaku.
What better time then for the striker who claimed a share of last season’s Golden Boot - alongside Liverpool’s Mo Salah and Sadio Mane - to reaffirm his commitment to Arsenal.
Defeat to Chelsea in the Europa League Final sparked suggestions that Aubameyang - who smashed 32 goals in all competitions - could be open to a move away from the Emirates Stadium.
The Gabon former Dortmund striker, however, wants to continue emulating his boyhood hero Thierry Henry by wearing the no.14 shirt with distinction.
“I loved my time at Dortmund but when Arsenal called, I was really excited for the challenge,” he said.
“I’d always admired Arsenal because of the big history and players like Thierry Henry. He was always an example for strikers and because I am also fast and score goals, I always looked up to him.
He’s the reason why I took the No 14 shirt. To be honest, when I arrived I actually wanted No.7, but Micki [Henryk Mkhitaryan] had already taken it.
“So I thought, ‘Why not follow in the footsteps of a legend?’ I’m just really proud to wear the 14 shirt and I hope to honour it.”
Aubameyang, 30, was signed in January last year for a club record £56million - eclipsing the £46.5m paid for his strike partner Alexandre Lacazette seven months previously.
With his goalscoring consistency, his instant connection with Lacazette and his Black Panther celebrations he has been a big hit in the red and white half of north London.
Arsenal’s failure to make it into next season’s Champions League, however, has thrown his future into doubt. Atletico Madrid are also in the market for a new striker with Antoine Griezmann expected to leave for Barcelona this summer.
Aubameyang’s response, on his club’s official website, will warm the hearts of the Gunners faithful around the world.
“It’s been very easy to settle here,” he said. “The fans have been welcoming and of course the team have been really good to me.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play alongside some really good players throughout my career and Laca is definitely one of them. Last season was the first full season that I’d played with another striker like him, and I’m really happy with how well we worked together.
“We have the same vision about football when we talk in the dressing room, the same ideas and the same feelings. The fact that we understand each other is the thing that makes the difference in the games.
“That relationship definitely helped me to win the Golden Boot last season. It was a tough year, but I had the chance to score goals because the team played a great season.
“Of course the last months were not the best in the Premier League, but the whole season, we put in a great effort.
“It meant a lot to win the Golden Boot. I am really happy and proud of it, especially to share the trophy with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. I really like these two guys. We are representing Africa so it is a good sign for the continent.
“Africa is in my heart and in my mind, so I’m extremely proud to represent it in the Premier League. The African people really love football, like everyone across the world, it makes me very proud to represent Africa in such an amazing way because not everyone gets the chance to play in the Arsenal colours.”
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