Aubameyang’s Europa League attitude criticised: ‘He’s got to turn up’

Robin Bairner
Aubameyang’s Europa League attitude criticised: ‘He’s got to turn up’

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been criticised by Arsenal legend Martin Keown for failing to “turn up” as the Gunners were held 1-1 by Benfica on Thursday.

Aubameyang ended speculation over his Arsenal future in the summer when he penned a new three-year deal with the club. There had been strong speculation that he could depart, with the player known to harbour ambitions of playing in Spain. Since going on a blistering run to earn a big-money deal, however, he has blown more cold than hot.

After scoring a treble against Leeds United on Sunday, it was thought the Gabon international forward had turned a corner, but against Benfica, he missed a trio of fine opportunities before being replaced.

Aubameyang’s attitude has been questioned since agreeing those terms, and Thursday’s performance has not aided his case.

“He’s got to turn up in games,” Keown lamented to Talksport. “Arsenal played the same team, the first time they’ve picked the same XI for successive games since 2018, and there were some good signs, but Aubameyang was the one player [to disappoint].

“He had a glaring opportunity that he missed, two or three opportunities where perhaps he made the wrong decisions, but it didn’t look like he was really fired up.

“It was a really strange performance from Aubameyang. He scored a hat-trick at the weekend and it looked as if he’d reignited his career, he was hungry again, he was at boiling point. You’d have thought that would be him now, he’s flying and he’s turned a corner.

“But last night, mysteriously, he didn’t reach the heights.”

Keown also criticised the Gunners for failing to look regularly enough for Martin Odegaard during the Benfica clash.

Aubameyang will expect to be back in action for Arsenal on Sunday when they tackle Manchester City in their latest Premier League clash.