Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reveals two key factors behind Arsenal stay after ‘thinking about’ exit

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has today opened up on his decision to commit his long-term future to the club.

Auba stays put

Speculation surrounding the future of Gunners star man Aubameyang was of course rampant throughout the summer.

On the back of another scintillating campaign in the English capital, during which he racked up 29 goals across all competitions, a number of clubs were tipped to swoop for the Gabonese international.

Barcelona are known to be long-term admirers, with Inter Milan and even Arsenal’s capital rivals Chelsea also rumoured to have expressed a keen interest in the services of the 31-year-old.

Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta (R) speaks with Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (L) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 1, 2020. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / IKIMAGES / AFP)

This, of course, all came with Aubameyang’s contract in north London having been due to expire this summer.

The precarious situation surrounding their captain’s future no doubt had fans of the Gunners in a sweat, just 12 months after watching key midfielder Aaron Ramsey depart the club for Juventus on a free transfer.

In the end, however, despite the lure of the likes of Camp Nou and San Siro, Aubameyang opted to commit his future to the Arsenal cause.

The African put pen-to-paper on a new deal at the Emirates last week, tying him down until the summer of 2024.

‘Create a legacy’

‘Auba’ is now expected to carry his world-class goalscoring exploits into the seasons to come, as part of Mikel Arteta’s rebuilding project on the red half of north London.

The 31-year-old represents an absolutely integral figure in Arsenal’s plans moving forward, as the capital outfit aim to reestablish themselves amongst the Premier League’s elite.

As outlined above, however, as confirmed by Aubameyang himself earlier today, the former Borussia Dortmund man did in fact give genuine consideration to the possibility of moving on this past summer.

Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports, Aubameyang admitted:

‘I was thinking about it (leaving) to tell you the truth because I had good opportunities as well.’

Even more significant, though, was the insight into the two key factors which eventually convinced the prolific attacker that staying put was the best choice for his career.

First up came the influence of Mikel Arteta:

‘Two things persuaded me to stay. 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.’

The ‘love’ put forth by the Gunners faithful, meanwhile, also proved crucial:

‘And as well, the love that I receive from the fans and the whole club.’

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

Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (right) celebrates scoring his side’s third goal of the game with da Silva Willian during the Premier League match at Craven Cottage, London. (Photo by Ben Stanstall/PA Images via Getty Images)

Aubameyang continued:

‘We (he and Mikel Arteta) 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.’

‘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.’

‘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.’

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Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has today opened up on his decision to commit his long-term future to the club. Auba stays put Speculation surrounding the future of Gunners star man Aubameyang was of course rampant throughout the summer. On the back of another scintillating campaign in the English capital, during which he racked up 29Football (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed

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