Unai Emery has praised Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the leadership qualities he has displayed at Arsenal .
Aubameyang, who joined the Gunners from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, was recently appointed the club’s vice-captain after a blind vote by his team-mates and serves as deputy to Granit Xhaka.
The Gabon international wore the armband during last month’s 3-2 win over Aston Villa, which saw him net a late winner for the North London club.
Aubameyang has established himself as one of Arsenal’s key players since his arrival at the Emirates Stadium, sharing the Premier League’s golden boot last season and scoring eight times in all competitions during the current campaign.
But Emery said the striker has been just as important away from the pitch.
“He is an experienced player now,” he said of the 30-year-old, who could score his 50th goal for the club against Bournemouth on Sunday.
“He played in France, Germany and now in England at a high level and with a high performance.
“His experience is good, his team-mates decided with the vote that they wanted him as vice-captain.
“I am usually speaking with him and now he is more confident and more mature in the Premier League compared to when I arrived last year, he came only six months before me.
“He scored a lot of goals last year but has now also taken a big responsibility within the team and he is one of the captains who can manage in the dressing room.
“I will speak with him in my office, the hotel or the dressing room. First we built a human connection and then as a player and then I know I can ask him what I want and what the team needs – he always listens and will always give his best to provide that.
“He will play all minutes, some minutes, all games if we ask that of him and he is always ready to play again – this is also showing his leadership qualities.”
In addition to netting the winner in last month’s win over Villa, Emery said he was also impressed by Aubameyang’s decision to let Nicolas Pepe take a penalty earlier in the game.
It allowed the Frenchman to score his first goal since his big-money move from Lille this summer and the Gunners boss feels it perfectly highlighted the impressive attitude of his vice-captain.
“I told him when he decided against Aston Villa when we were losing to give the penalty to Pepe for his confidence, it was an amazing decision,” added Emery.
“It showed him as a big player with big responsibility in this team, a captain of this team. He gave that responsibility to Pepe and in that moment it was a great moment between two big players – a very good connection.
“In the the dressing room and in the matches, that connection with Pepe, also with (Alexandre) Lacazette, it means Aubameyang is important to make these positive connections.”