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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Talks Nicolas Pepe Linkup, Golden Boot Ambitions

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2019

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on August 11, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images)
Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images

Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has said he's looking forward to linking up with Nicolas Pepe for the remainder of the campaign.Β 

The Gunners got their Premier League season off to a winning start on Sunday, with Aubameyang netting the only goal in a 1-0 win at Newcastle United. Pepe, who arrived at Arsenal for a club-record fee this summer, was introduced as a second-half substitute.

Speaking after the match, Aubameyang said he's already been impressed with what he's seen from the winger, per the Arsenal website.

"I'm looking forward to it, because he's a really great player," said the Gabon striker. "He's already shown in training that he's capable of doing great things with us. Hopefully he will start soon."

Aubameyang led the line for Arsenal on Sunday, causing problems for the Newcastle defence with his movement and speed throughout the game.

He was also able to showcase his talent in front of goal, latching on to Ainsley Maitland-Niles' lofted pass and finishing with assurance. Sky Sports Premier League shared the video of the goal:

Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL

AUBAMEYANG SCORES FOR ARSENAL! He's in absolutely acres of space. Maitland-Niles picks him out nicely before he pops it over Dubravka. πŸ“Ί Watch #NEWARS on Sky Sports PL πŸ“± Follow #NEWARS here: https://t.co/9HwdcWmIES πŸ“² Download the @SkySports app! https://t.co/685K9QDWxS

Per ESPN FC, Aubameyang has enjoyed a better goalscoring start to his Arsenal career than a number of big names:

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

33 goals in his first 50 Premier League games for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Faster than Henry, Wright and RvP! πŸ”₯ https://t.co/5Ed6vTck7o

In 2018-19 there were a number of ups and downs for the Gunners, although Aubameyang was a consistent goalscorer throughout.

The striker was on target 22 times in the Premier League, putting him level with Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane at the top of the goalscoring charts.

Although we're only one game into the campaign, Aubameyang said he's already thinking about winning the Golden Boot.

"As a striker of course it's in the mind," he said. "But first of all, as I've always said, the most important is the team. I'm really happy that the goal could help us to win the game."

Per BBC 5 Live Sport, the opening weekend saw a number of the Premier League's most prolific players get off to an excellent start:

BBC 5 Live Sport @5liveSport

Premier League Top Scorers: 3⃣: Sterling 2⃣: Kane, Rashford, Barnes 1⃣: Aguero, Aubameyang, Salah πŸ€” Who are you backing for the golden boot? πŸ‘‡ Comment below #bbcfootball https://t.co/SqJ3vlH4YS

It will be intriguing to see how Pepe's arrival influences the setup of Arsenal's attack. The 24-year-old played primarily on the right flank last term, where he was able to cut infield and make attacking contributions.

With Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette also regular goalscorers, it gives manager Unai Emery a surfeit of attacking quality to call on. Coral outlined the amount the of depth the Gunners have in their squad after a prosperous transfer window:

Coral @Coral

This summer, Β£45m bought Arsenal: βœ” William Saliba βœ” Gabriel Martinelli βœ” Dani Ceballos βœ” Nicolas PΓ©pΓ© βœ” Kieran Tierney βœ” David Luiz One of their best-ever transfer windows. https://t.co/vW9AdqDyzB

Aubameyang is capable playing in wide areas, but throughout his career he's been more effective when utilised through the middle. His pace unsettles opposition defenders, while he's clearly Arsenal's most ruthless finisher.

With that in mind, Emery may have to find an inventive way to get Aubameyang, Lacazette and Pepe flourishing in the same team. It's a conundrum the majority of managers in the Premier League will be envious of.