Mikel Arteta says the club will do everything within its power to convince Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to sign a new deal at Arsenal.
The Gabon international has less than 18 months to run on his existing deal at the Emirates, which he signed following a £57m move from Dortmund in 2018.
The forward was named club captain earlier this season and he took his tally for the Gunners to 17 for the season with two goals in a 3-2 win against Everton on Sunday.
Aubameyang was expected to leave had Unai Emery remained in charge in north London but Arteta’s arrival has increased the likelyhood of the Gabonese signing a new deal.
However, Aubameyang is still in two minds and Arteta says the club will do everything they can to keep the 30-year-old, who has attracted strong interest from Barcelona.
‘He’s our most important player,’ admitted Arteta.
‘Stats wise there’s no question about the impact that he has on this team.
‘So as much as I can and the club can we will try to convince him to stay with us.’
Aubameyang is now joint top scorer in the league alongside Jamie Vardy.
But aside from Aubameyang’s goals, Arteta has been most impressed with his work-rate and he admits he was unsure whether he’d be able to play in this manner when he first took charge.
‘It’s incredible the amount of defensive work that he’s doing,’ said Arteta.
‘Before [taking charge] I had my questions [but] it shows all the commitment that he’s shown for his team-mates and with the club.
‘I wasn’t sure if he could do it physically but he’s showed that he’s done it physically so then it’s down to whether you want to do it or if you don’t.’
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