Arteta unconcerned about Aubameyang goal drought

By Sports Desk October 21, 2020

Mikel Arteta is unconcerned by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's slow start in front of goal for Arsenal this season.

Gabon striker Aubameyang has scored just a solitary goal in five appearances Premier League for the Gunners so far this season.

The 31-year-old was Arsenal's top scorer in the previous campaign with 29 goals in all competitions and signed a lucrative new three-year deal in September.

However, speaking at a news conference on the eve of Arsenal's Europa League Group B clash with Rapid Vienna, Arteta claimed he is not worried about Aubameyang's profligacy.

"With all the strikers if you ask when they don't score for two or three games if there are concerns in my opinion the performance was not a cause of this," Arteta said.

"He could have scored again on Saturday in a one-vs-one situation that normally he does. It's trying to get in better positions as frequently as we can to try to give him the best possible chance."

Thursday's fixture will be the first meeting between Rapid Vienna and Arsenal, with the Gunners' last facing Austrian opponents in the 1991-92 European Cup where they beat Austria Wien 6-1 at home before losing 0-1 on the road.

Arsenal are taking part in the Europa League for a fourth straight season, having reached the semi-final in 2017-18, the final in 2018-19 and the Last 32 in 2019-20.

Arteta is confident Arsenal will be able to juggle the competing interests of the Premier League and the Europa League.

He said: "We are really excited to be playing back in Europe again after a difficult season where we had to earn our right to play here through winning the FA Cup.

"Obviously it's a big bonus for us, we want to make the most out of it in every competition we are involved in. Our aim is to try to win it.

"Time will tell. Depending what happens, depending on how this COVID-19 situation evolves, depending on the injuries, I believe we have the squad to try and fit until the last moment.

"What we are looking for in this competition is to go as far as possible and win it."

Arteta also hinted Thomas Partey, who joined Arsenal from Atletico Madrid on deadline day, will be in contention to make his first start for the club after a late cameo in Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Manchester City.

"He looked strong and confident and brought something positive to the team," Arteta said of the Ghana midfielder.

"Since he joined us, he only had a day, day and a half, training. He has now done a few more training sessions and looks ready to start."

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