Ian Wright thinks Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can become one of Arsenal’s great goalscorers.
Speaking ahead of the North London derby, Wright described Aubameyang’s start to life in North London as ‘phenomenal’ and pointed out the striker is hitting milestones fasters than Thierry Henry or himself.
“At the moment with him scoring 20 goals in 31 games (now 22 goals in 32 games) he’s going to be ranked number one,” Wright told Goal. “He’s had a phenomenal start to his Arsenal career. [Emery’s] got him on the left-hand side, but for someone who has not had a consistent run in the team, his goalscoring return will be way up there on the goalscoring charts.
“The rate in which he’s scoring is better than any of us. He’s got to 20 goals in 31 games – it took me and Thierry 40. I thought at the time I was playing every single game, he’s coming on as a sub. If he can continue scoring at this rate he probably will be well up there in the goalscoring ranks.”
Aubameyang can certainly take inspiration from the likes of Wright at Arsenal. Like the Englishman, Aubameyang only joined the club late into his twenties. However, that didn’t stop Wright from becoming the Gunners’ all-time top goalscorer (now second from top).
For Aubameyang to match that achievement, he’ll need to keep adapting his play-style to remain at a high level into his thirties.
Those who continue to rely on pace and quick reactions are usually the first to end up retiring. If you focus on intelligent movement and finishing, you can keep going for longer. Thankfully, Aubameyang is already excellent at picking up positions in the box.
The other criterion for long-term success is that Aubameyang needed to get more goals in big games.
There were plenty of mitigating factors for his ‘big six’ goal drought early on in his Arsenal career, such as Arsene Wenger rotating his first-team players for the Europa League whilst Aubameyang started alongside the reserves. However, now he has no excuses, and he needs to get a run going against the top teams.
Thankfully, he’s doing just that, with two goals and an assist in Sunday’s derby match against Tottenham Hotspur. Let’s hope he keeps it going with more in Wednesday’s trip to Old Trafford.