Mikel Arteta has been praising Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s change of attitude and role at the club this season which is producing results on the pitch.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang interacts with Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal as he is substituted during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on October 22, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 22: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang interacts with Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal as he is substituted during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on October 22, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)aubameyang

Last season was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s worst in terms of goals since he became a professional footballer.

It looked like, once again, Arsenal had handed out a huge contract to a top player only to watch their form fall off a cliff.

This season, however, Aubameyang has been like a player reborn. He already has seven goals from nine games (he only scored 15 last season in 39) but it has been his work-rate on the pitch that has impressed most Arsenal fans.

“Well, we had various conversations and obviously where you have a season where as a team we haven’t fulfilled our expectations, and individually we haven’t – we have to find the right reasons why,” Arteta told reporters at his press conference.

“How we can change that, how we can improve them, how we can help him to improve certain things that are going to have a huge impact in the team.

“And he’s been so willing to do that from the start. I am so pleased because again, his role is different to one that he had two or three years ago, and now he needs to lead in every sense – and he’s doing that and I’m really happy with him.

“I think he is [enjoying his new role], and I think you can see it on the pitch. He’s playing with a smile on his face, he’s transmitting energy, passion, willingness – and not only that but outside the pitch as well. That’s what I want – a happy Auba leads with his character, and that’s what he’s able to transmit to everybody, and that energy is always positive.”

Saturday’s game against Leicester City will be the eighth time Auba has played the Foxes.

So far, he has four goals in his previous seven games against them but that has only translated into two wins and a draw. Arsenal lost the other four.

The two teams are level on points as they go into this fixture.

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