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ARSENE WENGER says Arsenal’s record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang boasts all of the characteristics to follow in the footsteps of Thierry Henry.
Aubameyang has already revealed he wants to emulate his role model Henry, Arsenal’s record goalscorer, after being assigned the legendary striker’s No14 shirt.
It is an ambitious target for the £56million Gabon striker, who has already made an impression by scoring on his debut in last weekend’s 5-1 win over Everton.
His deft finish had all the hallmarks of Henry, who went on to score a club-record 228 goals, in his pomp.
“It is an ambitious statement but it is a good one, the best goalscorer ever in Arsenal’s history,” said Wenger. “He’s most like Thierry Henry with his quality of runs.
“It’s a bit too early to compare him to the best player ever who played here. He has played one game. But it’s a good example to follow. His finish against Everton was brilliant.
“You don’t score by coincidence for so many years, if you score many goals. Even in five-a-side he’s able to score goals, so when they can repeat that at the top level, it means they have that quality.
“Running wise, he’s a good example to follow. But Thierry came a bit more to the ball as well, participated more in the game.”
Aubameyang scored goals for fun in France and Germany. Tottenham were also undone done by the 28-year-old in 2016 with Aubameyang scoring three times over two legs of their last-16 Europa League tie.
He was also on target when the two clubs met in the Champions League this season, so all eyes will be on him again in today’s north London derby.
“His target is to have an impact in the Premier League because he knows that to be acknowledged as a top-class striker, you have to do it in the Premier League,” said Wenger. “That’s one of his challenges by joining us.
“What we have observed is that the transfer nowadays from the goals scored in other leagues does not necessarily transfer 100 per cent to the Premier League.
“When we played at Swansea, we played against 10 men in the last 25 yards and that doesn’t exist anywhere in Europe. To be as prolific in the Premier League is much more difficult.”
Aubameyang and fellow new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who played together with Borussia Dortmund in Germany, showed they were already on the same page after combining to gun down Everton.
Wenger’s task of ensuring his new-look forward line quickly find their feet and gel might not be as difficult as first thought.
“First of all, we choose players who can have the qualities to integrate into our game,” said Wenger.
“Mkhitaryan was supposed to join us two years ago because I had identified him to have the qualities to play for us.
“Aubameyang has a tremendous quality of reception up front and quality of pace. Their natural qualities suit well what we need.
“The core of the team is together on our side for a long time. To add just one or two players will not change that.”