Former Arsenal striker Paul Dickov believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be itching for the new season to get going so he can prove his doubters wrong after a major dip inn form last term.
The Gabon international is undoubtedly one of the finest finishers in world football on his day, having enjoyed a prolific career at the Emirates Stadium, as well as at previous club Borussia Dortmund.
Still, it remains to be seen if Aubameyang’s best years may now be behind him, with the 32-year-old not looking particularly sharp in pre-season so far after also failing to ever really get going for Arsenal last term.
Dickov, however, thinks Aubameyang will be eager to show what he can do in order to silence his critics.
Dickov, speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at the launch of their new season 5-a-side Bet, said: “Mentally, I think Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be desperate for this season to start, because he knows people have been pointing the finger and him and giving him a bit of stick.
“So he’ll have his professional pride about him, and he’ll want to get out there and start scoring goals for Arsenal again so he can prove those doubters wrong.”
Dickov also believes Arsenal have made a great signing in the form of Ben White, but feels there is still work to be done on this squad as he expects them to miss out on the top four again.
He added: “Ben White is a fantastic signing for Arsenal – I’ve seen more than enough of him from his time at Leeds and Brighton to know that he’s a quality player – but I’m sure Mikel would probably want to see at least two more names come in.
“Emile Smith-Rowe’s just got his new contract, but it’s a big ask for a youngster to take that number 10 jersey and perform at the top level week in, week out. It’s the same with Bukayo Saka.
“Arsenal’s expectation has to be to get back into the top six, but then I look at the teams that are in there already, and it’s going to be really difficult for them to break into there. It’s got to be their aim – especially with no European football – but unfortunately I can see them and Tottenham just missing out again.”