Aubameyang’s biggest game
Arsenal head into their Europa League semi-final second leg meeting against Villarreal tomorrow knowing that anything other than a win will not be enough to see them through.
Their position in the Premier League table has of course amplified the pressure and expectation on the fixture.
It is very likely that, should Arsenal not progress to the final of the competition, it will mark the end of all hope of qualifying for Europe next season.
With all of this in mind, it is unsurprising that club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has reiterated the fact that Thursday’s outing will come as the biggest of his Arsenal career.
“This is why I am really excited to play this game tomorrow because it is a big game and it’s a big moment for all of us. Hopefully we deliver again,” said Aubameyang.
“For sure it will be one of [the biggest games of my Arsenal career]. Definitely this season is the most important game and we know that we have to win this game.
“It is a big opportunity for us to get to the final, we play at home and this is maybe the biggest game of my Arsenal career.”
Aubameyang scored in Arsenal’s second-leg meeting with Valencia in the Europa League semi-final in 2019, but could not carry the Gunners on to glory in the final against Chelsea.
Arteta on how summer plans are affected by Thursday
Mikel Arteta was also asked about the gravity of the upcoming fixture.
The Spanish coach has been under increasing pressure this season, after seeing his side plummet to one of their lowest positions in Premier League history.
Should he secure yet another trophy, to make it back-to-back seasons with silverware, it would go a long way to recovering his place in the favour of supporters:
“It’s a massive game for everybody but in particular for the club because we are here representing a football club and our fans,” said Arteta.
“What we want to do is to do it in the best way by winning trophies. If we win tomorrow, we will be much closer to getting another trophy. This is the only aim and the purpose of us being here.”
When asked how Arsenal’s summer transfer plans will be affected by a potential lack of involvement in Europe next season, Arteta kept his cards close to his chest.
“I don’t know,” he replied. “It’s difficult to respond to that. What I can say is that winning always helps for the future. It’s the best way to prepare anything for the future.
Arsenal will host the Spanish side at 8pm on Thursday evening.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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