Unai Emery has challenged Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to maintain the hot streak which has turned him into the Premier League’s hottest property.
Aubameyang scored a brace in Arsenal’s 4-2 victory against Tottenham to become the first player to reach double figures in the league this season.
The Gabon international has an impressive hit rate, netting with 10 of his 13 shots on target, and averaging one goal every 104 minutes.
He is set to spearhead Arsenal’s attack when they head to Manchester United on Wednesday, bidding to extend their unbeaten streak to 20 matches, as well as claiming the club’s first Premier League victory at Old Trafford in a dozen years.
“To me, his challenge is that he has the possibility to be the best scorer in the Premier League,” said Emery of the former Borussia Dortmund player. “We want to help him achieve this, because if he is scoring he is helping us.
“It is also important for him that he takes confidence from matches like Tottenham, not only from scoring, but helping with the pressing against them, too.
“It is also the moment to say to him ‘don’t stop’. I want him to continue to improve, and his challenge is collective as well as individual.”
Emmanuel Adebayor scored the winner in Arsenal’s last win at United in September, 2006.
Although the fixture will mark the first time Emery has taken an Arsenal team to Old Trafford, it will be his second as a manager, following Valencia’s 1-1 draw against Sir Alex Ferguson’s United in the group stages of the Champions League eight years ago.
Spaniard Emery has enjoyed a promising start to his Arsenal tenure, and was praised for his half-time double substitution against Tottenham, changing his side’s shape with the introductions of Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey at the interval. Lacazette put Arsenal back ahead, while Ramsey laid on Aubameyang’s second.
Indeed, Emery’s substitutes have been involved in 15 goals this season, four more strikes than any other team.
“It is lucky,” added a jovial Emery. “At Real Sociedad, my coach Javier Irureta said to us ‘when I make a change, it is because I want some change. Maybe it is positive, and maybe it is negative.’
“In other teams I have coached, I have been criticised for making changes very late. So, it depends on the moment, and how the match is going.”