Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says manager Mikel Arteta and the passion of the club’s fans convinced him to pen a new long-term deal at the Emirates.
The 31-year-old star finally put an end to the speculation about his future earlier this month by signing a fresh three-year deal in north London, worth a reported £300,000 per week.
Arsenal’s chances of keeping Aubameyang appeared bleak before Mikel took over and the Gabon international was already exploring his variants with 18 months left on his previous deal at the club.
However, Mikel has transformed Arsenal’s fortunes and Aubameyang has been a crucial part of that with the Spaniard building his attacking philosophy around the ex-Dortmund striker.
Aubameyang admits Mikel played a key part in convincing him to commit to the club, while the forward says the ‘love’ from supporters also proved vital.
‘Two things persuaded me to stay,’ said Pierre-Emerick.
‘The first thing was Mikel Arteta, because since he came in he brings a lot of positivity & a new philosophy for us.
I think that was important because it matched my game & I feel that I can improve with him.
‘I think this was the key factor & as well, the love that I receive from the fans & the whole club.
Everyone is treating me very, very good, so I feel at home & that’s why I’m staying’.
Mikel made keeping the striker one of his main priorities when he replaced his compatriot Unai Emery as manager last December but few felt he’d succeed.
However, after impressive victories versus Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United in the run-in last campaign, Arsenal finished the term as FA Cup winners and followed it up with a win against Jurgen Klopp’s side in the Community Shield.