‘We are close’: Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta provides update on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract

Forward scored in normal time and in the shootout as the Gunners won the Community Shield

Alex Pattle
Saturday 29 August 2020 19:19
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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (far right) opened the scoring against Liverpool and netted in the shootout
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (far right) opened the scoring against Liverpool and netted in the shootout

Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta has insisted the Premier League club are “close” to tying down Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with a new contract.

In Saturday’s Community Shield against Liverpool at Wembley, Aubameyang opened the scoring before the game finished 1-1 in normal time following Takumi Minamino’s second-half strike.

Aubameyang then netted the decisive penalty in the shootout as Arsenal lifted their second trophy in one month – just weeks after their FA Cup victory on the same pitch.

The Gabon international, who scored both of his team’s goals in that FA Cup triumph over Chelsea, is crucial to the north London side and Arteta believes the club will have good news for anxious fans soon.

“Big games, big moments, big players,” the Spaniard said of his star striker. “He is responding really well to that kind of pressure. He was magnificent in the FA Cup final and he was magnificent again today.”

While Aubameyang himself was coy on his future after the final whistle, Arteta said: “We are close [to a deal].”

Arsenal signed winger Willian from Chelsea earlier in the window and are expected to announce the arrival of defender Gabriel Magalhaes any day now.

When asked about any other transfer plans from the Gunners this summer, Arteta said: “We are working with the club to try to achieve what we planned, but we know that the market is what it is.

“I am happy with the squad that I have and my job is to make them better.”

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who was named Man of the Match on Saturday, has been linked with a move to Wolves, but said after the game at Wembley: “I’m an Arsenal player until I’m told otherwise and my heart’s in the club.

“And while I’m here, I’m going to give it 100 percent all the time, so that’s that.”

Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta

Aubameyang and Maitland-Niles were standout performers for the north London team, but the entire outfit operated well together as they matched the Premier League champions.

“You never get used to it, I am so happy,” Arteta said of his side’s silverware-winning effort. “I knew the challenge we were facing today against this incredible opponent. David [Luiz], for example, trained one day just before the final, he was able to play 90 minutes. So thank you very much to the players for the effort and the performance.

“The courage of the team [impressed me], how aggressive we were without the ball, how well we made the decisions to break the pressure of Liverpool and put some issues against them in the back line that they have, and I am pleased [because] I knew in the second half we were going to suffer – we didn’t have the legs, we’ve been training for two weeks, but in the penalties again I think the boys had a lot of courage to put them right.

“I think in the last 10 minutes we took the ball, we played in the final third, we were able to dominate, we created two good chances to win it as well, but I’m really pleased with how they competed. Hopefully they can get used to it.

“It generates belief. We have a lot of things to improve still, but to be able to compete against these sorts of teams in a final like this, it makes me really proud. Let’s try to improve again.”

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