Over the years, we have lots of players fail to adjust to life in the “physical” Premier League.
Many arrive in England with huge expectations, but simply cannot deliver the goods.
Fortunately for Arsenal fans, the same cannot be said for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gabonese international led the line for Arsenal during their 1-0 win over Newcastle United, netting the only goal of the game to get his pursuit of the Golden Boot off to the perfect start.
The game was Aubameyang’s 50th in the Premier League, bringing his 33rd goal in the English top-flight – the best return of any player in Arsenal colours in their first half-century of matches.
The only players to have scored more than him through their first 50 Premier League appearances are Alan Shearer (41), Andrew Cole (41), Mohamed Salah (35) and Kevin Phillips (34) – pretty good company to keep.
He had already moved well ahead of the tallies of Gunners legends Thierry Henry and Ian Wright, who managed 30 and 24 goals respectively in their opening 50 outings for the club.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has now scored 33 goals in his first 50 Premier League games, as many as Fernando Torres managed.
Just four players scored more in that time. 🙅♂️ pic.twitter.com/VEhKGaVKTP
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 11, 2019
Aubameyang managed an incredible haul of 22 goals last season, helping him finish as joint winner of the Golden Boot award alongside Liverpool duo Salah and Sadio Mane.
Alongside strike partner Alexandre Lacazette, Aubameyang has been vital to Arsenal’s hopes of securing Champions League football in recent seasons. However, despite his goals, the Gunners could only manage a fifth-placed finish last year.
For a summer filled with speculations regarding the striker’s future; just how important a decision will opting to keep him prove for the club.
The 30-year-old was linked to a summer move to Manchester United and was also the subject of an £80m bid from a Chinese club.
Arsenal in recent years have been bashed for being too “generous” with transfers; a scenario that made many term the club a “selling club”.
Call it what you want but £80m for a 30-year-old is good business in any regard at all and any club will be tempted to cash in on that.
But obviously, the intent at the club has changed. The arrivals of Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos, with talks reportedly ongoing to secure the future of strikers Aubameyang and Lacazette will leave Gunners with a refreshing air of excitement.
The last time Arsenal had a dependable “30” goal a season striker dates back to Robin Van Persie and one can easily say his goals then single-handedly secured Champions League football for the Gunners on a number of occasions.
Added to the fact that he scores goals and makes assists, the Gabonese International has also been a good figure to emulate for the youngsters.
And yes, he also sets individual records while at it.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the first ever player to be crowned top scorer in both the Premier League and Bundesliga.
Both Torjägerkanone and Golden Boot to his name. 👞 pic.twitter.com/lqXy2OtV7J
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 12, 2019
For a fanbase that had lived in a state of continual tension in the final years of Arsene Wenger’s reign there is something utterly joyous about a player like Aubameyang, whose stock traffic is extraordinary goals, who celebrates them by donning your favourite comic book character’s mask, whose shin pads are works of manga-inspired art.
The hope is that Aubameyang will continue to score goals, and the recent arrivals of Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos will help Arsenal take that next step towards Champions League qualification.