Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Backs Arsene Wenger, Says He Was Key to Arsenal Move

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2018

Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang applauds supporters on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Watford at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 11, 2018. 
Arsenal won the game 3-0. / AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALL / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
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Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has given manager Arsene Wenger his backing and cited the Frenchman as being key to his move to the club in January.

Per the Mirror's John Cross, he said: "Of course I am really happy because I am here because of him. He had the interest in me so I am happy to play for him."

The Gabon international arrived at the Emirates Stadium in the winter, but the Daily Telegraph's Paul Hayward believed he would only have agreed to play under Wenger based on an assumption the manager would soon be leaving the club:

Arsenal's decline in recent years has perhaps contributed to their struggles in recruiting top players when compared to their domestic rivals, with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez proving to be exceptions in that regard.

Aubameyang may also fall into that category, after he netted 141 goals in 213 appearances for Borussia Dortmund prior to joining the Gunners.

Despite being one of Europe's most prolific goalscorers, ESPN FC's Mattias Karen believes he may have some adapting to do now he's in England's top flight:

The 28-year-old has not pulled up any trees with Arsenal having arrived during a difficult spell for the club, but he has netted three times in six appearances for his new side.

"It was a bit difficult at the beginning but I am feeling better," he added. "I didn’t play a lot in January so it was difficult to find the rhythm. Now I am feeling better. I work hard, I work a lot in the last weeks and I am happy because I feel better."

On Sunday, he was assisted by former Dortmund team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan and also turned provider for the Armenian, with their chemistry evident:

Mkhitaryan's own arrival in January may have also contributed to Aubameyang's desire to join the Gunners, and with the likes of Ozil and Jack Wilshere also in the side, there's plenty of ammunition to be provided for Aubameyang, so he could prove an excellent capture given time.

It's natural for him to support Wenger, though how long he'll play for the manager is yet to be determined.

The 68-year-old's contract runs until the end of next season, but he's under significant pressure from supporters having arrived at this stage of the campaign well off the pace in the Premier League, out of the FA Cup and with UEFA Champions League qualification firmly in the balance.

If Wenger does leave this summer, one of his replacement's priorities will likely be to get the best out of Aubameyang next season.  

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