‘Aubameyang nonetheless under par for Arsenal’ – Smith sees misfiring striker looking for a spark
The previous Gunners frontman hopes the Gabonese can get again on the objective path and is trying ahead to seeing Thomas Partey rise up to hurry
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang “nonetheless appears a little bit under par” for Arsenal, admits Alan Smith, with a talismanic presence at Emirates Stadium registering simply six objectives this season.
Solely three of these have come within the Premier League, with a as soon as prolific frontman discovering himself caught in a severe rut.
The 31-year-old’s requirements have dropped off since he signed a profitable new contract in north London, with it prompt that he could have misplaced a few of his drive.
Smith is just not shopping for that, with Aubameyang as essential to Mikel Arteta’s trigger as he has all the time been, however he concedes that the Gabonese has appeared a shadow of his former self.
“Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang nonetheless appears a little bit under par,” the previous Gunners striker instructed Sky Sports activities.
“He had one or two moments in opposition to Crystal Palace, one when he reduce in off the left flank earlier than getting a powerful shot away. That was a bit extra prefer it, however, in equity, he was a part of a workforce that was stuttering and could not actually get going.
“That did not assist him. Possibilities weren’t being created, and you’ll’t underestimate what an enormous miss Kieran Tierney was. His runs on the surface enable Aubameyang to float in and get nearer to objective. That did not occur sufficient in opposition to Palace.
“Having received a objective in opposition to Newcastle within the FA Cup, you might be hoping now he can get one or two extra and go on a run. He does not now need to go on a run of three or 4 video games with no objective as a result of anybody’s confidence can be affected below these circumstances.”
Arsenal, who noticed off Newcastle 2-0 within the third spherical of the FA Cup, will play host to the Magpies once more on Monday within the Premier League.
Thomas Partey can be hoping to see extra minutes in that contest, with a big-money summer season signing from Atletico Madrid making his first look since December 6 within the Gunners’ final outing in opposition to Crystal Palace.
“We do not actually know what Arteta’s primary midfield partnership can be, however you’d need to say Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey can be near it,” Smith added.
“Their respective video games ought to complement one another properly. Partey is somebody who can drive ahead with the ball, he can select a intelligent cross and Xhaka can maintain a little bit extra and he is received an honest passing vary.
“It will be good to see them play collectively within the coming weeks and construct up some form of partnership.
“There isn’t any doubt Partey can add to the facet and make it a greater workforce with what he is received at his disposal, and a greater understanding with Xhaka would assist that.”
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