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Mikel Arteta Sure Arsenal Can Keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ready for Challenge of Premier League Relaunch

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mikel Arteta (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mikel Arteta (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Mikel Arteta said he is certain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can be convinced to stay at Arsenal, as they prepare to take on Manchester City on Premier League restart.

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can be convinced to stay at Arsenal despite the Gabon striker's admission that he faces a tough decision over his future.

Aubameyang is out of contract in June 2021 and is yet to sign a new deal at the Premier League club.

Linked with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea, Aubameyang, who turns 31 on Thursday, has hinted he could consider leaving north London if Arsenal cannot match his ambitions.

Aubameyang, who has scored 61 goals in 97 appearances for the club, was quoted this week as saying he felt he was at a "turning point" in his career.

"Arsenal hold the keys for my extension," he told French football programme Telefoot. "It's up to them to do their job and then we'll see how things go."

He added: "It will be a very tough choice to make... It could be the most important choice of my career but nothing is decided for now."

However, Arteta is adamant Aubameyang is happy at Arsenal and the Spaniard accepts it is up to him to show his star striker it is the right decision to stay at the Emirates.

"I think it is our responsibility to make him feel that this is the right next step in his career," Arteta told reporters in a video press conference on Monday.

"In order to do that he needs to feel valued. I think he needs to feel he belongs to us and we want him.

"He really needs to believe we can take this club forward the way we want to do. He is going to be a key player to do that."

Arteta said he was "extremely happy" with how Aubameyang had been performing.

"I have a really good relationship with him," said the Arsenal boss. "We can discuss face to face a lot of things. So far I think he is really happy at the club.

"We have many discussions with Pierre, his family and his agent. I am pretty positive we can find the right agreement for all parties."

READY TO COMPETE

Arteta also admited his Arsenal players will have to find motivation without the urgency provided by fans when the Premier League restarts on Wednesday.

Arteta's side will feature in the second game of the Premier League relaunch when they face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, just hours after the opener between Aston Villa and Sheffield United.

The remaining 92 top-flight matches will all be played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus.

Having watched Germany's Bundesliga return without fans on television before experiencing the situation himself last week during friendlies, Arteta is aware of the challenges.

He believes it will be hard for some players to display their usual intensity because they will not have the energy of a full stadium to feed off.

"When I was at the Emirates and there was no crowd, you cannot feel that energy, push or drive," Arteta told reporters in a video press conference on Monday.

"The game is different. The intensity drops a little bit. That urgency from the crowd doesn't exist anymore, how passionate the crowds are in England. We have to adapt.

"We have to experience it. We have to find ways to motivate our players as well in moments."

Like most managers, Arteta has concerns about the fitness of his players after they were forced to work out on their own before the gradual return to organised training.

 

(With inputs from AFP)

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