The Gunners striker is on course for his second Premier League Golden Boot after taking his tally for the season to 17 with a brace against Everton
Mikel Arteta says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang does not need to win trophies to be considered world class – and has pointed to Harry Kane as proof.
Aubameyang has been in the headlines this week after his two-goal haul against Everton on Sunday took him level with Jamie Vardy at the top of the Premier League scoring charts with 17.
The Gabon international is on course for his second successive Golden Boot and has taken his tally to 49 league goals in just 74 appearances since joining Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018.
“He’s not mentioned as world class,” said Neville. “We don’t mention him as a Premier League great and I think we have to.”
One of the reasons suggested for Aubameyang often not being mentioned alongside the likes of Sergio Aguero and Mohamed Salah is that he has yet to lift any silverware since moving to Arsenal, but that is not an argument Arteta agrees with.
“Yeah, but Harry Kane has scored 30 goals and never won the Premier League, you know,” Arsenal’s head coach pointed out ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League tie with Olympiacos.
“There are a lot of good examples of players that do phenomenally, but unfortunately there are a lot of top teams in this country and only one wins the league. So you can’t have everything in life.”
One thing Arteta does accept, however, is that trophies do make it easier for players to get recognition they deserve.
“Obviously top players are playing at clubs that are winning constantly, there is more impact on that,” he said. “But we all know how good Auba is.
“It is remarkable what he is doing and how consistent he has been over the years to do it, which is very, very difficult to do. I think we all appreciate, at least at the club, his value and what he brings to us.
“I think if he had been top scorer in the league [last season] and won the league, then he would have been voted the best player for sure. You need both.
“You need individual performance and you need the collective side of your team as well to support that.
“That is where we have to make a step forward to try to convince these top players to want to stay at our club and be successful and be happy.”