Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s brace showed Chelsea the exit and lift his first trophy as Arsenal captain – but declined to confirm he will remain at the club despite firing them to FA Cup glory.
The Gabon forward fired twice to nullify Christian Pulisic’s opening salvo at Wembley yesterday and lift his first trophy as Arsenal captain. However when asked whether the victory was an indication of whether he would remain at the club next season, Aubameyang was non-commital in his response.
“I’m really not thinking about this. I just want to enjoy this with the guys and take the trophy,” he told BT Sport.
“I think we deserved the win. Everyone gave their best today for the team and yeah, we deserve it. The journey has been long but today we’re enjoying this great game.”
Aubameyang has entered the final year of his contract at the Emirates and will likely be sold this summer if he declines to sign a new deal, which would leave Arsenal depleted of their firepower up front.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is however hopeful of convincing his talisman and star striker to lead his rebuilding job.
“He needs more experience with trophies, we can get him more used to that,” Arteta joked when asked about Aubameyang’s trophy gaffe.
“He knows what I think about him. I want to build the squad around him. I think he wants to stay and it is just about getting the deal done.
“But I think these moments will help him to realise and believe that we are in the right path and he is a big part of that. He is loved by everybody at the club. Hopefully he can continue with us.”
The FA Cup is Arteta’s first piece of silverware just eight months into his managerial career, having only been appointed as Arsenal head coach in December and almost immediately had to cope with the debilitating consequences of the coronavirus outbreak, including being one of the first in the Premier League to contract the COVID-19 himself, amidst constant talk about losing his biggest players on top of it all.
Yet he has shown his resilience and indomitable character and has now won the FA Cup as a player with Arsenal, an assistant at the Etihad under Pep Guardiola and continued to demonstrate The Gunners’ special relationship with the world’s oldest cup competition with Saturday’s success as Gunners boss.
“I think so,” he replied when asked if this was the greatest moment of his whole career.
“I am really proud of what we have achieved because I know the difficulties and everything we have been through.
“For me personally it has been so tough the last six months with a lot of things that have happened in our lives but I had just one mission when I came here and that was to make the players and staff believe we could do it.
“We had to change that energy and that mentality and just by seeing them in the dressing room all together, and the way they enjoy their profession and their time together, it makes me more proud and as a consequence of that after we can achieve things and win titles together.”