Arsenal winger Willian says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang “has to stay” if the Gunners are to continue their upward curve under Mikel Arteta.
Aubameyang has entered the final year of his deal, amid rife speculation about his future. Previous suggestions claim he is a target for Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.
From Arsenal’s end, reports say the Gunners have offered the Gabon international a new deal. Should he take the offer, Aubameyang will allegedly enjoy a wage hike and lucrative bonuses.
Amid the speculation over Aubameyang, Arsenal brought in former Chelsea star Willian on a free transfer. Speaking to The Sun, Willian explained how his fellow forward formed a big part of his decision to make the switch.
“I joined Arsenal because we can challenge for titles but Pierre will be a big part of the plan,” the Brazilian said.
“He has to stay — it is very important to me. This is a guy who gets 25-30 goals a season and we have to keep a player like that.
“He’s one of the best players in our team and somebody I want to be making chances for.”
Aubameyang scored 29 goals in 44 games for Arsenal last season, notching 22 in the Premier League for the second successive campaign.
Indeed, he also played a crucial role in winning the Gunners the FA Cup. He scored both goals in the semi-final before also scoring a brace to seal Arsenal’s cup triumph.
Overall, the 31-year-old has scored 70 goals in 109 games for the north London side.
WILLIAN REVEALS ARTETA AMBITION
Elsewhere in his interview with The Sun, Willian opened up on his initial conversations with Arteta.
The winger said: “When I talked with the manager he told me why he needed me for three years. It was that he first wanted to qualify for the Champions League and win it by the time I left. That was what I wanted to hear.
“I was at Chelsea for seven years and won everything except the Champions League. Hopefully this move will give me the trophy I haven’t got as well as another Premier League title.
“Maybe [I could have won it with Chelsea], but everyone knows what the problem was. They thought because I was coming to the age of 32 they couldn’t give me a three-year contract.
“I felt I had proved my fitness, that I was as good as ever and that I deserved that deal.”