Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrated his return to the Arsenal starting XI by scoring his first Premier League hat-trick before opening up on his recent struggles.
The striker pulled out of the Gunners’ loss to Southampton last month as he dealt with personal issues.
Aubameyang’s mother was suffering with health issues which meant the 31-year-old was unavailable for a period.
But he returned to notch a treble as Arsenal saw off Leeds 4-2 at the Emirates and conceded the last few weeks had been “tough”.
“For sure, it means a lot to me,” he told Sky Sports.
“I’m a guy who always works hard and tries to give the best, always, for first my family and the team as well.
“It’s been a tough time to me so now it’s time to get the smile back, win games and score goals.”
Aubameyang revealed on social media that his team-mates had given him plenty of support.
And the Gabon international dedicated his hat-trick to those at Arsenal.
He added: “Definitely. From everybody around the club, everyone was giving a lot of love to me, my mum and my family.
“I’m really proud to be part of this family and I have to say thanks to everyone at the club and the fans as well.
“Really happy with today’s win and goals – this is for them.”
Aubameyang has scored five goals in his last two starts with his last 90 minutes coming against Newcastle in January.
And his manager Mikel Arteta was satisfied with both the result and the performance at the Emirates.
He said: “I’m very pleased with the result and very, very happy with the performance against a fantastic team that makes life so difficult for you. We handled the situations well.”