Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Plays Down Importance of Trophies

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2020

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal FC controls the ball during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match between Arsenal FC and Olympiacos FC at Emirates Stadium on February 27, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has said trophies are not essential for him to be rated as a "top striker." 

The Gabon international has long been considered one of the most natural goalscorers in the game and he's excelled for the Gunners since arriving at the club in January 2018.

Speaking ahead of his team's clash with West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday, the Arsenal star was asked if his legacy would be blemished by a lack of silverware in north London, per Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday:

"I'm a striker so I will defend my side—I don't think you need trophies to be a top striker. Of course, it can help you but we've seen a lot of great players that didn't win trophies but we respect them because of their quality.

"You don't need to win trophies but if you win it, it's better."

As Arsenal journalist Layth Yousif relayed recently, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta made a similar point, referencing Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane:

Layth @laythy29

Genuine question: Really interested to know what you think Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta meant when he said: "Yeah but Harry Kane has scored 30 goals and never won the league?" when he was asked if Aubameyang could be called world class if he hadn't won trophies... https://t.co/c7cdDoQMTm

The only major trophies Aubameyang has won in his career came before he moved to Arsenal. In 2013, he won the Coupe de la Ligue with Saint-Etienne and in the DFB-Pokal he enjoyed success with Dortmund in 2017.

With the Gunners he has come close on a couple of occasions, although the team fell at the final hurdle in the 2018 League Cup final and the 2019 UEFA Europa League final, losing comfortably to Manchester City and Chelsea respectively.

Arsenal's lack of silverware since Aubameyang joined the club has little to do with their star forward though. 

The 30-year-old recently received criticism for missing a glorious chance late on against Olympiacos that would have prevented their elimination from the Europa League; James McNicholas of The Athletic found it difficult to criticise the striker:

gunnerblog @gunnerblog

Personally, I can’t really hold Aubameyang’s miss against him. It was only his brilliance that almost saw us win the game. His goals have carried this team at times. He’ll be missed.

Arsenal are currently enduring an underwhelming campaign despite the recent improvement in form, although their position would be much worse if it was not for the prolific forward.

Aubameyang has been able to find the back of the net with remarkable consistency given the issues the team have had throughout the season. Per Squawka Football, he's been a supreme goalscorer since moving to the Emirates Stadium:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 49 goals in the Premier League since joining Arsenal in February 2018; only Mohamed Salah (50) has scored more. Mikel Arteta is going to do everything he can to keep him at the club. https://t.co/dF6Oo5I1Wu

As referenced in the above clip, there has been speculation linking Aubameyang with a move away from the club. At the end of the current campaign, he will have just one year left to run on his contract.

While the striker played down the importance of winning trophies, he will surely be desperate to win something with Arsenal before potentially moving on. The FA Cup is their only chance of a pot this season; the Gunners will face Sheffield United in the quarter-finals of the competition after their win over Portsmouth on Monday.