Mikel Arteta needs to help Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rediscover his best form as Arsenal prepares to play every game as if it were a final for the rest of the season.

After the international break, the Gunners will resume their season against Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Both sides are struggling for points with just nine games left in the Premier League, otherwise they will miss out on qualification for Europe via the domestic route.

Though Liverpool is still aiming for a top-four finish, Arsenal comes into the game behind the pack, having won only three of their previous nine games in the league.

Aubameyang, like the squad, has struggled with success in the competition. The Gabonese international netted 22 league goals in the previous two seasons but has yet to hit double figures in 2020-21.
“We thought for months about the ratio of goals we need him to score to give us the best chance of being at the top,” Arteta said ahead of the Liverpool game.

“He hasn’t been as good as he has been in recent years, which is due to several other factors on the field that the organization must deal with – it’s not just his job. We need Auba in a different shape in the next few games to give us the best chance of finishing where we want to finish this season,” says Klopp.

Aubameyang could blame the reduction in output on playing more often in a larger attacking position, with a nine-goal haul still one shy of the total he managed in his first 13 league games since joining Borussia Dortmund in January 2018.

His position in the squad can also explain why his average of 2.28 shots per 90 minutes is slightly lower than in previous seasons at the club, as is his shot conversion rate of 18.37 percent (which is still higher than Harry Kane’s 16.67 percent).

Arteta admits that it is not all down to the player, with the Gunners boss calling for varying expectations from his captain while instilling a more controlled approach to proceedings, paving the basis for what he believes would be a long-term success under his leadership.


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