Aubameyang criticised over “drop-off” since signing new Arsenal contract

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been criticised over a “drop-off” in standards since penning a new bumper three-year deal with Arsenal in September.

The Gunners’ captain was rewarded with a mega-money extension after months of speculation linking him with a transfer elsewhere.

But since signing the agreement committing him to the club till 2023, the forward has scored just once in six matches and displayed a notable dip in form.

His only strike came in last week’s Europa League win over Rapid Vienna, meaning he has drawn a blank in his previous five Premier League outings.

And former England striker turned pundit Darren Bent feels it’s not just Aubameyang’s goal return which is lacking.

Aubameyang has struggled to replicate his form of last season so far this campaign

“There has been a drop-off,” Bent said to talkSPORT .

“You look at his form in the semi-final and the final of the FA Cup last season, the Community Shield and his performance [in the season opener] against Fulham – he was arguably one of the best strikers in the Premier League, probably THE best.

“But since he signed that new contract, it might be a coincidence, but he’s looked a shadow of himself.

“He’s missed big opportunities in games, he’s not working with the same intensity, he doesn’t look like he’s enjoying it as much.”

Arsenal’s attack as a whole has come under scrutiny in recent matches as their forwards have struggled with creativity in the final third.

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The forward fired another blank against Leicester stretching his league drought
The forward fired another blank against Leicester stretching his league drought

In the defeats to Man City and Leicester particularly, Arsenal’s front line barely troubled the opposing goalkeepers, with Aubameyang’s five-match league drought the first time he has gone that long without a goal since 2014.

Bent continued: “Listen, confidence is massive in a striker. It is with any player, but particularly with a centre-forward, when you’re used to scoring as many goals as he is and then you suddenly stop scoring, it can be a little bit of a concern.

“But I think it’s even the workrate as well.

“You remember, he was putting shifts up and down, he was all over the place, but he’s been nowhere near that level recently.”

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