Mikel Arteta: Arsenal need to value Aubameyang
Mikel Arteta says Arsenal needs to make Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to feel valued in order to convince the Gabonese to sign a new deal.
The Gunners boss during his virtual press conference ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League game against Manchester City spoke extensively about the 31-year old’s contract situation at the club.
“We have many discussions with Pierre, with his family and his agent. I’m pretty positive we can find the right agreement for all parties,” Arteta said during the live session.
“It is our responsibility to make him feel this is the right next step in his career.
“In order to do that he needs to feel valued. He needs to feel like he belongs to us and we want him. He really needs to believe we can take this club forward in the way we want to do and he’s going to be a key player to do that.
“I’m extremely happy with how he’s performing and behaving. I have a really good relationship with him and we can discuss face to face a lot of things and I think he’s very happy at the club.
“We would have liked to do things much quicker but our hands have been tied with time and communication. These unprecedented times bring a lot of uncertainty.” the Spanish tactician said.
Mikel Arteta and Arsenal are keen to retain the services of Aubameyang beyond the expiration of his present contract.
The Gabonese has established himself as one of Arsenal’s most prized assets since joining the club from Borussia Dortmund in 2018.
The 31-year old have scored 61 goals in 97 appearances for Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta has a good relationship with Aubameyang and insist he is happy with the striker’s performance and behaviour thus far.
“I think at the moment I am extremely happy with how he’s been performing and behaving,” he said.
“I have a really good relationship with him and we can discuss face to face a lot of things. So far as I’m aware I think he’s very happy at the club.”
“That brings a lot of uncertainty. But things are getting clearer and clearer every day that we are a step closer to getting back playing football and we want to move forward.” Arteta said.
Arsenal are also working behind the scenes to tie down Bukayo Saka to a new deal.
“We are trying, as a club, to finalise the deals that are more urgent and are a priority for us.
“The ones you are talking about [Bukayo Saka and Aubameyang] – they are both really important, not just for now but for the future of the club as well and if the club has something to announce, they will do it in the right moment.”
New Balance for Arsenal
Mikel Arteta claims his squad have found “the right balance”.
“I think we have found the right balance, and the most important thing was to provide the players with a safe environment to work where they could feel where there was no risk, or a very, very limited risk, to develop their profession,” he said.
“I think we have managed to do that and from now on, the physical part is really good and the mental side as well has been a challenge over those three months.
“Now let’s see how ready we are to compete.” Arteta said during the press conference.