Aubameyang 'frustrated' to miss out
PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 March 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admits he is frustrated by UEFA regulations which prevent him playing in the Europa League for Arsenal.
The Gabon striker arrived at the Emirates Stadium on transfer deadline day in a club-record deal from Borussia Dortmund and has three goals in five Premier League games after netting in Sunday’s win over Watford.
But he has not been able to participate in Arsenal’s tilt at winning the Europa League due to a rule manager Arsene Wenger recently insisted “doesn’t make sense” as winning the competition now represents the club’s best chance of securing a return to the Champions League.
Aubameyang is effectively cup-tied despite not playing in the competition this season but, as Dortmund dropped from the Champions League into the Europa League, he is ineligible for his new club.
“I am really frustrated because the rules are a bit – I don’t know how to say in English – but I’m disappointed because I can’t help my team,” he said.
“That’s life. I have to deal with it. In Dortmund, I was playing every three days but now I play once a week or have a long time between games. It is not easy.”
Despite being unable to develop a relationship with his new team-mates in every game, Aubameyang is clearly benefiting from playing with former Dortmund team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Aubameyang converted a Mkhitaryan pass against the Hornets before the roles were reversed for the third goal.
Shkodran Mustafi’s header had put Arsenal ahead while Troy Deeney saw a penalty saved by Petr Cech – who kept his 200th Premier League clean sheet.
Aubameyang believes he is now getting towards his best and is keen to help relieve the pressure on Wenger, who has seen his position come under scrutiny following a recent run of damaging defeats.
“It’s a big win,” he said. “The team did very well and it is a great three points. We needed it. I think the fans are happy, which is really important.
“I didn’t play a lot in January so it was difficult to find the rhythm. Now I’m feeling better. I work hard, I have worked a lot in the last weeks.
“Of course I’m really happy (for Wenger) because I am here because of him. He had the interest in me so I am happy to play for him.”