Mikel Arteta has admitted Arsenal desperately need goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – starting with the North London derby on Sunday.
The Gunners manager brushed off questions about his own future and said the form of his captain and top goalscorer last season was his “biggest concern” amid the club’s worst start to a League season since 1981.
The FA Cup holders have scored only 10 goals in 10 Premier League games, leaving them 14th in the table.
Aubameyang scored both goals in the Wembley win over Chelsea on August 1 to finish last season with six in four games and 29 in all competitions.
The Gabonese striker, who vowed to become an “ Arsenal legend” when he signed a new three-year contract in September, has still to score at the Emirates and on Sunday squandered three chances in the 2-1 defeat by Wolves.
And the club captain’s only Premier League goal from open play this season came in the opening day win over Fulham.
Asked if he was worried by Aubameyang’s form, Arteta said: “I think we all are, because the main goal scorer of the club at the moment isn’t scoring goals, so my biggest concern is how to help him more to score because we need his goals.
“How important Auba has been for this club in the last two years, and how the goal sheet has been shared among the squad, tells you his importance.
“He needs to be scoring goals if we want to be successful.”
Aubameyang, 31, has netted 56 goals Premier League since his £56m arrival in January 2018 and 22 out of the 56 Arsenal scored in the league last season.
Only Southampton ’s Danny Ings (22/51) scored a higher percentage for his club.
Aubameyang has been deployed down the middle recently but like Arteta’s side, looks shorn of form and confidence.
Alexandre Lacazette, who came off the bench for the last 10 minutes against Wolves, has not scored since September and Eddie Nketiah has one Premier League goal all season.
With Mesut Ozil in exile, the attacking of trident Joe Willock, Willian and Bukayo Saka was not in the same class as the Wolves trio of Adama Traore, Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence.
Arteta reported Thomas Partey will still be missing from the static Arsenal midfield for “the next few games” with his thigh strain.
Emery was sacked on November 29 last year after a run of seven games without a win which saw them slip to eighth place, eight points off the top four.
Arsenal are now five points off a Champions League place after three consecutive home defeats, causing former Juventus boss Max Allegri and former captain Patrick Vieira to again lead the betting as the next boss like 12 months ago.
Arteta’s struggles in his first top job in management have been in stark contrast to the success of the experienced Jose Mourinho in the same period at neighbours Tottenham.
They top the table ahead of Sunday’s match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Arteta said: “I know one day I will get the sack, I will leave, but I don’t know when that is going to happen.”
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