Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has stoked up the north London rivalry by declaring he would rather ‘retire’ than play for Tottenham.
The 32-year-old is currently in his fourth full season for the Gunners after joining midway through the 2017-2018 campaign. The Gabon international has bagged 92 goals from 159 appearances in all competitions. He has found the net 68 times in the Premier League and four times this season.
One of those came against Spurs as Mikel Arteta’s side pulled off a 3-1 triumph over their great rivals in September. That was while Nuno Espirito Santo was at the Tottenham helm.
He has since been replaced by Antonio Conte. But Aubameyang seems indifferent to the club’s change of manager and prefers to focus on Arsenal.
“I don’t care. I’ll be honest, I really don’t care,” he said, per The Mirror. “Like, that’s not my problem. Really. No worries, [we’re going to back ourselves] for sure, 100 per cent.”
Aubameyang has an FA Cup winner’s medal to show for his time at the Emirates Stadium. While that might seem a poor return for a club the size of Arsenal, Spurs’ cupboard has been bare for more than a decade.
Their last success was in the 2007-2008 EFL Cup when they downed Chelsea 2-1 in the final.
Aubameyang has no love for Tottenham
Tottenham tried to sign Aubameyang in 2012. And the French-born hitman insists he would rather call time on his career than play for the Lilywhites if they came calling again.
“I would retire, even more because a few years ago I was close to signing for Tottenham and at the end I don’t know what they did,” he added.
“I was at Saint-Etienne if I’m not wrong, or at the beginning at Dortmund, I don’t remember exactly. I came to [the training ground], I went to the stadium as well at White Hart Lane.
“The day after they just never gave an answer, they never called back, so I was like, ‘Okay, no worries.’”
Aubameyang has been criticised in the media this season after a perceived downturn in form. His goal return dipped in 2020-2021, with just 10 in the league from 29 outings.
He scored 22 in both 2018-2019 and the following campaign. But Arteta is content that the talented forward is still contributing plenty during matches.
“I wouldn’t go to the goals, again it is what Auba is transmitting on the pitch,” he said. “I have never seen Auba transmit what he is doing now. It is a click.
“Apart from the goals, the celebration when they put the ball in the net. Do you see the way he runs, the purpose he has to press the ball and when he takes it his movement, his link, how is leading the game?”