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Unai Emery wants Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to embrace the challenge of maintaining his hot streak to finish the season as the Premier League’s top goalscorer.
Aubameyang leads the charts with 10 goals and, with an average of 104 minutes between each effort, comfortably claims the division’s best strike rate too.
Hislatest contribution, scoring twice in the win over Tottenham on Sunday, ensured Arsenal go into Wednesday night’s match at Manchester United feeling buoyant and Emery is urging him to seize the opportunity to achieve on multiple fronts.
“I want him to continue improving, and his challenge is also collective and individual,” he said. “I want his challenge to be that he has the opportunity to be the best scorer in the Premier League. We want to help him achieve this and that is because, if he is scoring, he is helping us.”
No player has matched Aubameyang’s top-flight total of 20 goals since he joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund on 31 January. He has been a spectacular success, especially given the sense that he has largely operated with his wings clipped. Although he played through the middle against Spurs and, the previous week, at Bournemouth, seven of his 12 league starts this season have come on the left wing rather than his favoured centre-forward role. It has raised questions about Arsenal’s best attacking balance but Emery believes his player can threaten from anywhere.
“In his career he has played as a winger on the right, on the left and like a striker,” he said. “He [has] played with two strikers. I use with him in every position for us. And sometimes his best performance is starting the match on the bench and then playing 20 or 25 minutes. In the last two matches he has had a very big performance, working and scoring