Arteta: "He is willing to stay with us. He is really happy where he is."; Aubameyang: "I know [fans want me to sign a new contract] and I am really happy that Bukayo Saka signed 'da ting' and now we'll see"
Thursday 2 July 2020 09:11, UK
Mikel Arteta insists captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is willing to stay at Arsenal after his side's 4-0 victory over Norwich.
Aubameyang, who scored twice against Norwich to take his tally to 19 Premier League goals for the season, has just a year to run on his contract but, while Arteta insists negotiations do not involve him, he feels the Gabon international is keen to stay put at the Emirates Stadium.
"He is willing to stay with us," Arteta said. "He is really happy where he is.
"He can see what we are trying to do and hopefully he can evolve as well some parts of his game he might feel he can improve. We are pushing him every day.
"I leave that to the football club and the senior people that finalise the contracts."
Arteta, speaking hours after Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka committed himself to Arsenal by signing a new long-term contract, added: "Auba knows really well what my thoughts are towards him and the project that I want to create, and how much he is part of that. And after that it is not in my hands."
The Gunners ran out comfortable winners against Norwich as Aubameyang was gifted two goals as well as laying on Granit Xhaka's first of the season before Cedric Soares marked his debut with the last in comprehensive win.
Aubameyang's first, coming after he was gifted possession by Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul, saw him reach 50 Premier League goals in 79 appearances - making him the fastest Arsenal player to make it to the landmark.
Speaking after the win, Gunners boss Arteta praised Aubameyang and is hopeful his captain can score another 100 goals for the club.
"A player that is able to score as many goals as he has done in that short space of time tells you everything about the importance that he has for us," Arteta said of his captain.
"Players that can make the difference in any moment in the game every three days in competitions. That is a big task and he has done that at different clubs.
"[I hope he can score] at least another 100 but I don't know. I am not a magician.
"What he has achieved today to be the fastest to score 50 in the whole history of this club tells you everything about his mentality and the way he works every day on his finishing, on trying to help the team. He's decided to be better and better every day. So hopefully we can keep him here for a longer period."
Meanwhile, Aubameyang insists talks over a new deal are ongoing.
With Saka committing his long-term future to the Gunners on Wednesday, focus now turns to the Arsenal captain's future, but he was not giving anything away.
"I know [fans want me to sign a new contract] and I am really happy that Bukayo Saka signed 'da ting' and now we'll see," he told BT Sport.
"We'll talk with the football club and see what happens but first of all I am really focused on the games coming until the end of the season, so we'll see."
Aubameyang's opener was his 50th Premier League goal in just 79 appearances, with only five players managing to do so at a quicker rate than the Arsenal skipper (Fernando Torres, Mohamed Salah (72), Ruud van Nistelrooy (68), Alan Shearer (66) and Andy Cole (65).
Since joining Arsenal back in 2018, Aubameyang has scored 14 goals in 14 games against sides starting the day in the Premier League relegation zone, netting a brace both home and away versus Norwich this season.
Here's a selection of Aubameyang's best league goals for Arsenal...
One player who has committed their future to Arsenal is Saka, who has signed a long-term deal at the club.
The 18-year-old, who came through the club's academy, has made a major impact during the current season after making his debut in the Europa League in 2018.
And Arteta will be demanding even more from the youngster going forward.
"Well, I think he is the player that represents every value that this football club stands for," Arteta added.
"He's come through the academy, so big credit to everyone who has been involved in the process of developing the player and the person that he is today.
"He's come into my hands, our hands, really mature, really focused and really well developed in his knowledge about what he needs to do in the game, and it was really important for me to keep him and have big belief in him.
"From now on, I will be demanding more because he can give us more and more hopefully in the future."
Meanwhile, Dani Ceballos put in an impressive display against Norwich and after the game, Arteta hinted at a permanent deal for his fellow countryman, who is on loan at the Emirates Stadium from Real Madrid.
"Both clubs have been in communication," Arteta said.
"I really like Dani and what he brings to the team. When I joined he wasn't available because he had a difficult injury, but he's understanding what we're trying to do really, really nicely and he has big personality to play and take the ball in any area of the field and give us the continuity that we need as a team to control the games better, but as well without the ball.
"The running that he's putting in, the tackles, every time with the interceptions, his desire to win that ball back and help the team, he's improved so much and he looks a really good player at the moment."