Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang considered leaving Arsenal but Mikel Arteta key to new contract

Arsenal captain Aubameyang tells Sky Sports he wants to leave a legacy at the club. Watch Liverpool vs Arsenal on Sky Sports Premier League from 7.45pm on Monday Night Football; kick-off 8pm

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signs a new three-year contract with Arsenal 1:32
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wants to leave a legacy at Arsenal after signing a new three-year contract

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says he considered leaving Arsenal, but the chance to improve under Mikel Arteta convinced him to sign a new contract.

Barcelona made a concrete offer to sign Aubameyang, who also attracted interest from Inter Milan, before Arsenal confirmed their captain had signed a new three-year deal after months of speculation over his future.

The 31-year-old helped Arsenal win the FA Cup final last season and the Community Shield at the start of 2020/21 - scoring in both games - and netted in his side's opening Premier League win over Fulham.

Arsenal boss Arteta recently said his star striker chose to extend his contract because the Gunners are an "incredible" football team, but Aubameyang - speaking exclusively to Sky Sports - says his manager was instrumental in his decision.

Mikel Arteta called Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang an 'important leader' after the Arsenal captain signed a new three-year contract
Image: Mikel Arteta called Aubameyang an 'important leader' after the Arsenal captain signed a new deal

    "Two things persuaded me to stay," he said. "The first thing was Mikel Arteta, because since he came in he brings a lot of positivity and a new philosophy for us.

    "I think that was important because it matched my game and I feel that I can improve with him. I think this was the key factor and as well, the love that I receive from the fans and the whole club.

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    "Everyone is treating me very, very good, so I feel at home and that's why I'm staying.

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    "We had a chat during lockdown and we were supposed to talk about a game and he said 'okay, forget about it, we're going to talk about the future' and he asked me what I wanted to do.

    "I was like 'I feel good since you came, I'm improving, and the philosophy is very, very nice so I just want to stay' and he was like 'I'm sure if you stay you can leave a legacy, but it's all about you and what you want. Of course you can leave and go for trophies in big clubs as well but I think you can create a legacy here in this great club.'

    "This was the key message to me and after that conversation I was like 'okay, it's all clear for me and I just want to stay' and that's it."

    "Since he came in he brings a lot of positivity and a new philosophy for us. I think that was important because it matched my game and I feel that I can improve with him."
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Mikel Arteta

    'I had good opportunities elsewhere'

    Aubameyang has arguably been the best striker in the Premier League since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, scoring 72 goals in 112 appearances across all competitions.

    Asked whether he considered leaving the Emirates amid interest from other clubs, Aubameyang added: "I was thinking about it to tell you the truth because I had good opportunities as well.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pictured at the Emirates Stadium after signing a new three-year contract with Arsenal 0:55
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      "But this feeling to be here - the love from the fans and all the club - I'm not sure that by leaving I will receive the same love, so that's why I'm staying.

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      "I'm really proud to be the captain but it's not the biggest factor to stay. Of course, it's a great job to do but it was not a part of me staying here."

      Abameyang's attention turns to Premier League champions Liverpool on Monday - live on Sky Sports - when Arsenal will be looking to continue their impressive start to the season.

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        Inside Arteta's Arsenal revolution

        "It has been an incredible journey, that is for sure," Mikel Arteta tells Sky Sports.

        The Arsenal manager is reflecting on his first nine months in charge. This is his very first job in management and it has coincided with a period that the club's chief executive Vinai Venkatesham recently described as the toughest nine months in Arsenal's 134-year history.

        Mikel Arteta
        Image: Mikel Arteta reflects on nine chaotic months in charge at Arsenal

        Arteta has not only altered the mood, best summed up by the joy that has greeted the news that captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has signed a new three-year contract, but he has already brought silverware too - lifting the FA Cup and the Community Shield at Wembley.

        "The fact that we were able to win two trophies is something incredible in such a short time. But what I am really pleased with is the people around me here and the support that I am finding, the energy that is created around the club now, how the fans are feeling about it all. That is what gives me the motivation to try to achieve things here. That is the challenge."

        Read the full feature here...

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