Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will win another Golden Boot

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal scores his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Burnley FC at Emirates Stadium on August 17, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal scores his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Burnley FC at Emirates Stadium on August 17, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) /

With the likes of Lacazette, Pepe and Ceballos surrounding him at Arsenal and Tierney and Bellerin to return, Aubameyang will win another Golden Boot.

Arsenal has started this year’s Premier League season earning a full six out of six points for the first time in ten years. Arsenal has Aubameyang to thank (mostly) for their perfect start with the Gabonese striker scoring the winner against both Newcastle and Burnley.

In his first full season with Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored 22 goals in his 36 Premier League appearances; enough to give him his share of the Premier League Golden Boot with fellow Africans Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

To add to his Golden Boot award, Aubameyang’s goal against Newcastle was his 33rd goal in his first 50 Premier League appearances, beating former Arsenal leader and legend Thierry Henry, who scored 30 goals in his first 50 appearances.

Furthermore, Aubameyang only comes in behind Premier League legends such as Newcastle’s Alan Shearer, Manchester United’s Andy Cole, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Sunderland’s Kevin Phillips for most goals in a player’s first 50 Premier League appearances.

Aubameyang was able to accomplish this fantastic achievement in a year that Arsenal said goodbye to long-time manager Arsene Wenger, brought in Unai Emery, and began their largest transition period since the Frenchman took over in 1996. Last season under Emery, the Gunners seemingly had no identity, constantly changing formations and style to accommodate the players Emery had to utilize.

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The change constantly affected Aubameyang as well, as he had to adapt with different playing styles slotting in as a solo striker, a right-sided winger, and in a striker partnership with good friend Alexandre Lacazette, throughout the season.

In fact, it was his partnership with Lacazette that helped shoot him to the top of the Premier League scoring charts, but Emery found it difficult at times to fit both strikers on the pitch with the formations he was forced into using.

In addition to Emery’s constant tactical flexibility, injuries to key players like Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin, and off-field issues for others like Mesut Ozil, didn’t help the situation for Aubameyang. It’s easy to say that after last year’s end-of-season collapse, nobody was safe heading into the summer transfer window. There were rumors circulating that even Aubameyang or Lacazette could make way to fund much-needed purchases.

Well, the summer transfer window has come and passed, and Arsenal’s two prized strikers are still with the team and firing in goals. In fact, the squad that now surrounds the two strikers is arguably better and more structured than the squad available to Emery in his first year. If the first two games are anything to go by, Emery now has a concrete plan and formation to build off for the rest of the season with tactical flexibility still available to him.

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On top of Emery setting a 4-3-3 formation, Arsenal has brought in another strong attacking option in Nicolas Pepe and a Spanish midfield magician in Dani Ceballos. Add in a ball-playing center-back like David Luiz and a well-rounded full-back like Kieran Tierney to a building team and Aubameyang has all the tools to hit the 30 goal mark this season in the Premier League if not more.

In the first game against Newcastle, the Gunners fielded a side that will arguably be the weakest side they field this season. With injuries to Tierney, Bellerin, and Holding still keeping them out of the first team and security issues for Ozil and Kolasinac rendering them unavailable, Emery had to make do with the options he was given. Add to that the fact that Ceballos and Lacazette picked up preseason knocks and Luiz, Pepe and Torreira weren’t quite up to speed and Arsenal were left with slim pickings of first-team players to start the year.

Regardless of all of the above, Aubameyang was able to create chances for himself and still manage to score the match-winning goal.

In the match against Burnley, Aubameyang was shifted from the right side of the attack to the left to fit Emery’s plans and produced a below-par performance for a man of his ability. Still, when it mattered the most, Aubameyang was able to pick up the ball and smash in the game-winner.

Ceballos and Luiz were able to start the match against Burnley, but Pepe and Torreira were still not fit enough and had to make due with substitute appearances. Kolasinac returned to first-team duties but Ozil missed out on another week with an illness. Tierney, Holding, and Bellerin are all shooting for returns after the first international break in September, but when the squad is fully fit, and Emery has all of his players to choose from, Arsenal will be a dangerous team to deal with, and Aubameyang will benefit more than he has already.

Add in Arsenal’s attacking fullbacks, Tierney and Bellerin, making dangerous overlaps and sending balls into the box; forward, ball-playing center-backs Holding and Luiz playing balls over the back for Aubameyang to chase; a dynamic midfield trio comprised of any combination of Ceballos, Ozil, Willock, Torreira, Guendouzi and Xhaka; and the attacking support of Pepe and Lacazette, Aubameyang has all the tools at his disposal to surpass the 30 goal mark and bring home his second consecutive Premier League Golden Boot.

Fans can get excited about this season as there have been signs of things to come this year already in the first two matches. Ceballos put on a masterclass performance against Burnley, earning himself the Player of the Match award, serving up two assists and adding creativity in the midfield that has been lacking for too long. And when Pepe has played, he has shown that he can connect with Aubameyang and Lacazette and form a formidable front three for the Gunners attack. David Luiz’s full debut showed he is not afraid to play the long ball to our speedy attackers which we have had to rely on only Holding to do in the past.

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But more importantly, Aubameyang has shown that even when not given all these tools, even if he is having an off day, he can still make the difference and score the big goals when needed. If Aubameyang continues to bang in the goals more are sure to come when Arsenal are full strength. The Gabonese striker has everything it takes to win the Golden Boot again, and he will do just that this season.