Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admits he likes to compare his pace against the fastest players in Europe, including Kylian Mbappe, Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Speaking at an event hosted by Arsenal’s new cyber protection partner, Acronis, Aubameyang confirmed the first thing he looks at when he gets data on his physical performance.
“Speed, of course. Everybody knows about my speed. It’s all my life,” he told The Straits Times. “I like to watch videos of my matches and training and read data about my speed and distance. That’s important as it helps me improve every day.
“This year, at a training session, I did 37kmh. It’s a good score. (Kylian) Mbappe did the same at the World Cup. I’m 29 now, so it’s not bad (Mbappe is 19). I do look out for data on other players like (Mohamed) Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo.”
According to Straits Times’ data, Aubameyang’s 37kmh is faster than Ronaldo (34kmh), Salah (33kmh) and Sane (35kmh). That might be surprising, given how often we saw Salah race away from defenders last season, but it’s worth keeping in mind that has more to do with his acceleration and movement than his top speed.
When it comes to a straight race, there aren’t many better in the Premier League than Aubameyang. Hopefully he can maintain that pace as he moves into his thirties, in the same way as Ronaldo has.
Fortunately, the striker also has fantastic finishing and movement, which should help him to keep scoring goals either way. As long as he can still find space in the box, losing some pace won’t be a problem. Very few of Aubameyang’s goals for Arsenal last season came from runs in behind anyway.
For now, Arsenal need to get the best out of one of Europe’s top strikers while he’s still at his physical peak.