Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s selfless attitude to playing in attack is the only reason the Arsenal striker has never played for one of Barcelona or Real Madrid.
That’s according to Arsenal’s former sporting director Sven Mislintat, who believes the Gabon striker is well established as one of the world’s leading goalscorers – but just lacks that key selfish streak needed to make it to the very top.
The German was a key factor for Arsenal in helping recruit Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018; the former AC Milan youngster going on to score a whopping 49 goals in 75 appearances for the Gunners so far.
And having shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane last season, Aubameyang already has eight in 10 this season to underline his ruthlessness in front of goal.
However, Mislinant claims Arsene Wenger had doubts over the striker’s attitude prior to signing him for the Gunners, according to The Athletic.
Those doubts, however, have been blow away with the striker very much proving the team player by offering up a penalty to Nicolas Pepe in the recent victory over Aston Villa and also being rewarded with the Arsenal vice-captaincy behind Granit Xhaka as a result.
However, speaking to the publication, Mislintat believes that selfless approach is what sets Aubameyang apart from other level-level strikers and claims his wish to be a team player is the only reason he’s not gone on to play for Barcelona or Real Madrid.
“He is one, possibly the only one, of these extraordinary top, top, top strikers who is an absolute team player,” Mislintat told The Athletic.
“A striker like Neymar or [Sergio] Aguero, for example, would never give a penalty to Pepe to score his first goal. It’s vice versa — ‘Come on, I will take this penalty kick, nobody else!’ Auba gave the chance to Pepe. His instinct was, ‘Let’s score and let’s go forward together.’ He takes care about his team-mates.
“Since he joined Arsenal, he played where he was asked and needed, and so he helped especially [Alexandre] Lacazette to adapt to the Premier League.
“Maybe this attitude costs him to play for clubs like Real Madrid or Barcelona but maybe they made a mistake not to go for him. I like his mindset. It is good for a team’s atmosphere.”