Arsenal’s former head of recruitment Sven Mislintat reckons Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s attitude cost him a chance to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona.
Mislintat, who oversaw Aubameyang’s €63.75m move from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, has witnessed the Gabon captain cement his reputation as one of the world’s best strikers over at Arsenal.
Aubameyang has already scored an impressive 49 goals in 75 appearances across all competitions. In fact, nobody in an Arsenal jersey has been more prolific than the club’s current frontman.
The 30-year-old even finished level with Liverpool stars Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in last season’s Premier League Golden Boot race on 22 goals.
Perhaps, though, Aubameyang’s most impressive trait is his selfless attitude. He nobly gave up a penalty against Aston Villa last month by offering new guy Nicolas Pepe the chance to open his Arsenal account instead.
He’s also one of the main reasons why Alexandre Lacazette has managed to overcome his initial struggles.
Gunners boss Unai Emery, therefore, has handed Aubameyang the vice-captaincy and recently hailed his leadership skills.
“He is one, possibly the only one, of these extraordinary top, top, top strikers who is an absolute team player,” Mislintat told the Athletic.
“A striker like Neymar or (Sergio) Aguero, for example, would never give a penalty to Pepe to score his first goal. It’s vice versa — ‘Come on, I will take this penalty kick, nobody else!’
“Auba gave the chance to Pepe. His instinct was, ‘Let’s score and let’s go forward together.’ He takes care of his team-mates.
“Since he joined Arsenal, he played where he was asked and needed, and so he helped especially Lacazette to adapt to the Premier League.
“Maybe this attitude costs him to play for clubs like Real Madrid or Barcelona but maybe they made a mistake not to go for him. I like his mindset. It is good for a team’s atmosphere.”
Aubameyang has scored eight goals in 10 appearances across all competitions for Arsenal this season.