KEY POINTS

  • Mikel Arteta was worried about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaving before they signed a new three-year deal
  • The Arsenal coach said it took a while before the club and Aubameyang agreed on a deal they were happy with
  • Aubameyang revealed that Arteta convinced him to stay with the Gunners

Arsenal FC has sealed the deal with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, locking the Gabon captain to a fresh three-year contract. Now that the deal has been inked, Mikel Arteta admitted that there had been moments when he was worried that Aubameyang would walk away.

Prior to Aubameyang renewing his commitment with the Gunners, the Arsenal coach repeatedly said that he was confident the 31-year-old would be staying at Emirates Stadium but never went into detail as to the reason why.

But contrary to what he previously said, the Spanish coach revealed he had not been that confident that Aubameyang would stay, especially after the club's finances took a hit, Goal reported.

"At the start, when I joined, I wasn't as positive as I was a few weeks ago," said Arteta, who was appointed in December," he explained. "Obviously, financially, we were in a position where it was difficult to get what we wanted to get, and I think Auba had his doubts at the time."

"I had a feeling that Auba wanted to stay here and we were just trying to put those things together. That can sometimes take some time, but if the outcome is what we both wanted then we're happy,” Arteta said. "I played my part, which is part of my job, to try to explain to him what we are trying to do and how important he would be while we are building."

It can be recalled that there were teams interested in taking Aubameyang in. One of them was Barcelona FC, which considered the Gabon national since its chances with Lautaro Martinez were not looking good. Inter Milan was also linked to him, but nothing progressed.

Though there were reports that Aubameyang was open to listening to what Blaugrana was going to offer, nothing developed. Also, Aubameyang had provided hints on social media that he was staying at Emirates Stadium despite the chatter.

But it was Arteta who ultimately convinced Aubameyang to stay. The chance to leave a legacy and be a legend was something that piqued the interest of the Gabon captain, and the rest is history.

"He was straight and honest and that's what I like because we are always honest," Aubameyang said in an interview with former Arsenal player Ian Wright. "He said: 'Okay, you can maybe leave. I don't know what your mind is [thinking] right now, but you can leave and go for trophies at other clubs or you can stay here and have a legacy.'"

With a fresh deal, Aubameyang will try to continue his success from last season. He scored during the Gunners' Premier League opening match with Fulham, and there is more to expect from the Gabon national.

Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored in the win at Fulham Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored in the win at Fulham Photo: POOL / Ben STANSALL