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Rio Ferdinand loves Arsenal man; claims he can be as good as most

Rio Ferdinand has told his Five Podcast that Arsenal will be a much better team when they play to the strengths of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he declared his love for the Gunners captain.

Mikel Arteta’s men have bounced back from a tough start and secured victories against both Norwich and Burnley.

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Aubameyang scored the winner against the Canaries. And he did score a hat-trick against a weakened West Brom side in the Carabao Cup. But the 32-year-old is yet to rediscover his best form.

In truth, it seems a long time ago that Arsenal fans were desperate to see Aubameyang sign a new contract.

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He ended last season with four goals in his last 16 appearances. And he only just reached double figures in the Premier League.

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But Ferdinand believes that his Arsenal teammates have a large role to play if Aubameyang is going to get back to his best in the future.

“I love Aubameyang, I love him,” he told his Five Podcast. “I just think he’s a wicked finisher, but I don’t know if the club are playing to his strengths.

“They need to get the ball forward quicker. They get the ball forward quick and set him off and set him running free, and in full flow, he’s as good as most. He’s just an unbelievable finisher.

“When he’s smiling and he’s on form, he makes Arsenal a considerably better team.”

Aubameyang form even more important for Arsenal amid doubts over Lacazette and Nketiah

It does appear even more imperative that Aubameyang steps up this season. Neither Eddie Nketiah or Alexandre Lacazette look set for a prominent role in Mikel Arteta’s plans.

Both players are out of contract next summer. And it seems telling that Lacazette has only made one substitute appearance for the Gunners in the top flight this term.

Folarin Balogun is one for the future. And they also have players such as Gabriel Martinelli who can come in.

But Aubayemang is clearly going to be crucial if Arsenal are going to kick on from here and really put their disappointing start to the campaign behind them.

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