standard: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang believes the best is yet to come for Arsenal and it is time for everyone to respect them after he ended speculation around his future yesterday by signing a new contract with the club.
The forward, whose previous deal was due to expire in June of next year, had been attracting interest from Barcelona and Inter Milan but has agreed to stay at Arsenal.
Aubameyang has signed a three-year deal worth £250,000-a-week, but bonuses and clauses means his wage could eventually rival that of Arsenal’s top earner Mesut Ozil – who is on £350,000-a-week.
Aubameyang captained Arsenal to FA Cup glory last season, scoring both goals in the final, and the 31-year-old believes the best is yet to come as he looks to establish himself as a legend under first-team manager Mikel Arteta.
“Look at the guys that came in [this summer]. I think we can do something very big,” he said.
“And also the young players as well, they are coming like fire and this is why I stay – because I know we have something to do.
“I said a few months ago that the best is to come for sure, for Arsenal. It’s time for everyone to respect our club.
“I want to become an Arsenal legend, just like Thierry [Henry], Wrighty (Ian Wright), [Tony] Adams and [Dennis] Bergkamp – too many to mention.”
After trying down Aubameyang, Arsenal’s summer business is nearly complete but they are still keen to bolster their midfield.
Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey is a top target, but the Gunners need to sell the likes of Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi to raise the funds needed to meet his €50million (£46m) release clause.
Arsenal are also tracking Lyon’s Houssem Aouar, but the French club are reluctant to sell for anything less than £50m.
The fact Partey’s release clause will not change means Arsenal could swoop late to sign him and his arrival would bolster their hopes of breaking into the Premier League’s top four.
That is the aim for Aubameyang, who revealed he stayed at Arsenal after a conversation with Arteta during lockdown earlier this year convinced him he could become a legend at Arsenal.
“We had a chat when we were in lockdown. He called me,” said Aubameyang. “Normally we have to speak about a game.
“He called me and said: ‘Forget about it.’ I had prepared maybe two pages [of notes on the game] and he said: ‘Yeah, forget about it. Let’s talk about real things.’
“He said: ‘I want to be honest with you, how do you feel?’ And I was like: ‘I have to say the truth, I feel very good.’
“He was straight and honest, and that’s what I like because we are always honest.
“He said: ‘Okay, you can maybe leave. I don’t know what your mind is [thinking] right now, but you can leave and go for trophies at other clubs – or you can stay here and have a legacy.’ This, for me, was the key word.”
Source: Published by standard