Arsenal captain Aubameyang explains his dressing room mentality under Mikel Arteta

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admitted he has found it hard to captain Arsenal in recent months as he suffers a major slump in form. Aubameyang has been prolific for most of his time at the Gunners, scoring 76 goals in 127 outings in all competitions since joining in January 2018 from Borussia Dortmund for a club record fee of £56m.

His performances saw the Gabon international made captain in November 2019 after Granit Xhaka was stripped of the armband.

The extra responsibility did not seem to impact Aubameyang’s performances though, as he finished the 2019/20 campaign with 22 goals for the second consecutive season.

However, the 31-year-old has only scored three goals in 15 starts so far this term and admitted he has found it hard to lead his team.

“It’s really hard to manage both but you have to be as positive as you can because the team needs you,” the striker told Sky Sports.

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“I always try to give my best, not only on the pitch but also in the dressing room for the guys.

“Sometimes it’s hard and maybe you are not in the right mood but you have to find a way to change it and give positive vibes for the guys.”

Aubameyang started his professional career with AC Milan but it was his move to St Etienne in 2011, initially on loan, where he really started to get the attention of Europe’s biggest clubs.

His impressive record of 41 goals and 25 assists in 97 outings for the Ligue 1 club persuaded Borussia Dortmund to sign the former France Under-21 international.

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Aubameyang’s record in Germany was exceptional, finding the net 141 times in 213 outings, and this season could end up being the first campaign since 2014/15 where he doesn’t finish with at least 20 league goals.

Like Aubameyang, Arsenal have struggled this season and there was serious pressure mounting on rookie manager Mikel Arteta at the tail end of 2020.

But the Spaniard appears to have turned things around, with four wins on the bounce since Christmas.

Arteta has previously stated he believes Aubameyang has tended to ‘overthink a little bit’ this season and the striker is confident his form will return.

He said: “From the beginning of this season I was struggling a lot but I think this is part of football.

“We gave a lot at the end of the season to win the FA Cup and to qualify for the Europa League because it was really important for the club.

“Sometimes you have ups and downs and you have to manage as best you can. I tried my best and until now it was not the best performance from me.

“I’m still positive. I think I can turn this around.”

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