Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has waxed lyrical about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, praising the Gunners captain’s attitude and mentality in recent weeks.
Aubameyang has struggled for parts of the 2020-21 campaign, delivering numerous mediocre performances, but lately he has also put in some great displays.
He missed several chances in the Europa League last-32 first leg against Benfica and failed to make much of an impact in the Premier League loss to Manchester City.
However, Aubameyang netted a hat-trick against Leeds prior to the first Benfica game, and in the second leg last night, scored a crucial brace to help Arsenal into the last 16.
Arteta believes that the Gabon international is now channeling any frustrations in games and training in a constructive way, citing an example of a recent training session.
“Sometimes when you go through difficult moments, you can have those difficult moments and get into a sad mood,” the Spaniard told the Arsenal media team.
“I think that’s the worst thing you can do because nobody has to feel sorry for themselves when you’re having those moments.
“What you have to do is get upset, get angry, work harder and approach the situation and face it.
“Face the challenge in a way that creates more motivation and more hunger to do it and I think in recent weeks I’ve seen that reaction.
“For example, in a training session before we played here he missed a penalty and he was really upset.
“Instead of getting sad, he got upset and I said to the coaching staff that I like that and that he would be fine tomorrow.
“When you have that mentality, I think that’s the right way to approach it.”
Aubameyang may not have had the most fruitful season, but the quality is certainly there and he’s looking sharp again.
With five goals in his last three and seven in seven, hopefully he’ll continue in this vein of form as the Gunners look to climb up the table and make the latter stages of the Europa League.