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Thierry Henry Praises Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Ahead of Arsenal vs. Brighton

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 5, 2019

NORWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Arsenal FC at Carrow Road on December 01, 2019 in Norwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images)
Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images

Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has said he's not sure where the club would be in the Premier League this season had it not been for the goals of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.ย 

The Gunners go into Thursday's clash with Brighton & Hove Albion down in 10th place in the table. Recently the club sacked manager Unai Emery, and after Freddie Ljungberg took charge for the 2-2 draw against Norwich City on Sunday, Arsenal are now eight games without a win.

In a season of significant underperformance, Aubameyang has been the main man for the Gunners; the new club captain grabbed both goals in the Norwich draw and has notched 10 times in the top flight this season.

Speaking to Amazon Prime Sport (h/t Chris Burton of Goal), Henry has said he's thankful for the striker's potency this season:

"[Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang scored two goals and we escapedโ€”when I say 'we' you know why. But that's what I saw, you know, without the goals of Aubameyang I don't know where we would have been right now.

"So it's interesting to see how we are going to play against Brighton, and see what Freddie is about. Because that game [against Norwich] was very difficult to see what was happening really."

Aubameyang netted a twice-taken penalty in the first half at Carrow Road before grabbing an equaliser for his team in the second period:

The Gabon international has been a regular source of goals since making his debut for the team in January 2018:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has now scored more Premier League goals since making his debut (42) than any other player in the competition. Arsenal's only hope. https://t.co/bW6srmEZup

While Arsenal are blessed with a number of attacking stars, Aubameyang is the only member of the forward group who has performed consistently this season.

Although he's renowned for his blistering pace, his finishing ability has been the primary quality on show this year. The Gabon international is excellent on either foot and in the air, while he's rarely ruffled when he gets into dangerous situations.

It's a testament to his talent and temperament that he's been able to shoulder such responsibility this season, although he would be even more threatening with consistent support in the final third.

Aubameyang may benefit from a change of setup:

James Benge @jamesbenge

It need not be forever but it's time to at least see what this Arsenal team looks like with Aubameyang leading the line and Lacazette coming off the bench https://t.co/fqxlmp6WWc

Throughout the season, the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Nicolas Pepe have struggled to make a consistent impact, while youngsters like Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock are still developing their games.

For Ljungberg, finding a way of drawing more from those players will be crucial if he's to put himself in the frame for the job full-time. If he can so, the manager should get more from Aubameyang, who is a goalscorer capable of swinging a game the way of his side.