Football

Graeme Souness and Jermaine Jenas hail Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Arsenal's match-winner in their 1-0 win over Newcastle United was feted after helping his side to a gritty 1-0 win at St James' Park last Sunday.

After a largely forgettable first half in which Newcastle were slightly the better side, Arsenal eased to a comfortable three points thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's 58th-minute strike.

The Gabonese striker has scored 33 goals in 50 English Premier League appearances since joining Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in February 2018, with only Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (36) having scored more league goals in that period.

Former Tottenham Hotspur and England midfielder Jermaine Jenas said on the BBC: "He was world class I thought, Aubameyang, at times today...

"He is clinical, and 33 goals in 50 games, he has been absolutely brilliant. And what a start for him."

Former Liverpool manager and captain Graeme Souness, meanwhile, feels Aubameyang is a class apart from his teammates and expects him to be Arsenal's difference-maker this season.

He said on Sky Sports: "Aubameyang's movement is fantastic. We saw it all last season.

"I think that's going to be the story of the season. They are not going to be great at the back, they are not going to be great in midfield, but they will score a lot of goals.

"Aubameyang will be the difference because the rest of the team are good to average."

Last season's joint-Golden Boot winner, meanwhile, is excited to play alongside the man who replaced him as Arsenal's record signing, Nicolas Pepe.

The Ivory Coast wide forward, who signed from Lille for 79 million euros (S$122.5m), came on for the final 19 minutes against the Magpies, as Arsenal teased the prospect of a frontline of Pepe, Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Said Aubameyang: "I think everybody is excited about that.

"We know he (Pepe) can help us to reach our goals. It is another weapon for us and that is very, very good...

"Of course I have a special partnership with Laca... we both have the same mentality."

But Gunners manager Unai Emery cautioned that the trio might not play together just yet, saying: "Pepe came one week ago and physically he needs to get his best fitness to be ready to play 100 per cent for 90 minutes."

Football