Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has told Goal that winning trophies won’t determine whether Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is world-class; citing Tottenham striker Harry Kane as proof.
A debate has been ongoing this week over Aubameyang and his status in the game. He went level with Jamie Vardy at the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts on 17 goals during Sunday’s win over Everton.
Despite the Gabonese striker’s impressive goal-haul since arriving at the Emirates Stadium, he isn’t often considered in the conversation as being world-class; largely down to a lack of silverware.
Arteta doesn’t agree that the two need to go hand-in-hand, however.
He told Goal: Harry Kane has scored 30 goals and never won the Premier League, you know.
“There 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.
Despite claiming that trophies aren’t necessarily required to be called world-class, Arteta does believe winning things make it easier to receive recognition.
He continued: “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. We all appreciate at the club the value and what he brings.
“If he had been the top scorer in the league (last season) and won the league, then he would have been voted the best player for sure. You need both.”
Arsenal are 10 games unbeaten in all competitions under Arteta and face Olympiacos in the Europa League tonight.
The Gunners hold a 1-0 lead from their first leg tie and the Spanish boss will hope to progress to the last 16.
Aubamyeang boasts real quality and is clearly Arsenal’s number one talisman.
There really isn’t much to separate him and the £200,000-a-week Kane at Tottenham. It is fair to say, however, that the England international has typically played with better players during Aubameyang’s time in the Premier League.
The summer could represent an uncertain time, however, with the 30-year-old having just one year left on his current deal.
If Champions League football isn’t secured one way or another; Arsenal may choose to offload Aubameyang, ensuring he doesn’t leave for free a year down the line.
Since arriving at the Emirates he has netted a brilliant 60 goals in 95 appearances for the club.
If he does leave in the summer, Arsenal will definitely need to find a suitable heir to his throne.