Aubameyang's phenomenon: an underrated top-scorer
Unibet's James McNicholas breaks down the role Auba plays at the Emirates and explains why he is so underrated.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the Premier League's top scorer, so how could he be underrated? However, according to Unibet's James McNicholas, sometimes people outside Arsenal and Gunners fan community don't realise what exactly a player Auba is. After the North London derby his outstanding skills are no longer to remain unnoticed.
"Last season, he managed 10 goals from just 31 Premier League shots," McNicholas writes. "This season, he’s once again got 10 goals from 33 Premier League shots.
"The consistency is extraordinary—and he is scarily clinical too: prior to the Manchester United game, the last time a Premier League goalkeeper saved one of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang’s shots was Lukasz Fabianski on the 25th of August. A goalkeeper wasn’t able to stop him in more than three months."
For now Auba's goalscoring rate is higher than that Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp or Ian Wright’s starts in north London. Can't help remembering how the Gabonese claimed it's too early to compare him to the Gunners legends. A fair point maybe but here's a well-deserved comparison.
Why don't fans and pundits mention him among the league's best strikers then? Several reasons can be mentioned, claims James McNicholas: "The first is that he’s part of an Arsenal side who are not currently contesting top honours.
"The closest Arsenal came to major silverware last season was the Europa League semi-final—and Aubameyang was cup-tied. Sergio Aguero’s goalscoring exploits perhaps garner more attention as they have propelled City towards the title.
"Aubameyang’s contribution to the second half of last term was always going to be overshadowed by the extraordinary goalscoring exploits of Mo Salah. As prolific has he was upon his arrival in England, the Egyptian’s remarkable run of goals was inevitably the focus of attention.
"Since he joined Arsenal, Aubameyang has comfortably outscored Tottenham’s Harry Kane, but the Spurs striker’s status as an England star means he’s liable to hog the back pages.
"Perhaps perception of Aubameyang has also suffered from the suggestion that he is ‘just a goalscorer’. Although he had an outstanding all-round game against Spurs, even making more tackles than any other player on the pitch, he is generally seen as a pure poacher. The vogue in modern football is for a striker who gets more involved in the approach play. Aubameyang is arguably part of a dying breed."
No matter how solid the above-mentioned reasons are, it's about time Auba received more recognition. While the Gunners are undergoing a major change under Unai Emery, he remains one of the most consistent players.
He’s capable of scoring tap-ins, one-on-ones, long-distance goals and he's working on adding new weapons to his arsenal. He had a reputation of a trouble-maker in Dortmund but has been nothing like that so far. His partnership with Alexandre Lacazette is pushing Arsenal forward to the top of the table.
While Arsenal are not expected to really fight for the title this season, Aubameyang can easily be the front-runner for the Golden Boot. He only needs to keep the lead he got.