Football: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang form not linked to new contract, says Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has had an indifferent season in front of goal compared to the spectacular heights he hit last season with Arsenal. And club and player went through lengthy negotiations last summer to commit the striker to a new deal. And while the striker's form has been patchy ever since, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says the two are not linked.
But Arteta says his drop off has nothing to do with the new contract.
"It is easy to connect things like that, but I am not suspicious of that," Arteta said.
"We have had conversations about what he wanted to do from last year's point of view to his near future in the next two years, and he was ambitious with that.
"To maintain that level is complicated but he is trying his best."
Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal celebrates with Gabriel Martinelli and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang after scoring their side's third goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Arsenal
Image credit: Getty Images
Aubameyang's form has improved in the new year with nine goals in his last 15 games, and Arteta added that he is hoping for the striker to end the campaign positively.
"We talked about the ratio of goals we need him to score to give us the best chance of being at the top," he said. "It has not been what it has been in recent years and it's contributed to by a lot of things. It is not just his thing.
"We need Auba in different form in the next games to give us our best chance to finish where we want to finish."
Arsenal, who are ninth in the standings, host champions Liverpool later on Saturday.
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