Saturday Jan 30, 2021. 15:00
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes that the North London club have learnt how to win without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gabon international has missed the club’s last two matches, both against Southampton, and revealed this week that his absence was due to his mother suffering from “health issues”.
Arsenal lost 1-0 to the Saints in their FA Cup tie at St Mary’s but beat the same opponents 3-1 to stretch their unbeaten run in the Premier League to six matches.
The Gunners ignited their run with a 3-1 win over Chelsea on Boxing Day, a match in which Aubameyang was an unused substitute. The 31-year-old failed to find the back of the net in wins over Brighton & Hove Albion (1-0), West Brom (4-0) and in a 0-0 draw versus Crystal Palace but did bag a brace in a 3-0 win over Newcastle United, before missing the trip to Southampton.
“That is something that we had to improve and address dramatically,” he said when asked if the club was no longer reliant on Aubameyang.
“If you want to have any chance of competing with the top teams in this league, just to rely on one player is completely insufficient and it won’t be sustainable over time.
“But having said that, we know the importance of Auba and his goals and his contribution to the team. The more we have him, the stronger we are for sure as well.”
Aubameyang has scored 78 goals in 129 appearances for Arsenal since joining the club from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018.
Arsenal return to action at home to Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening. Aubameyang scored from the spot in a 1-0 win for the Gunners in the reverse fixture earlier this season.