‘A massive player for us’, Mikel Arteta praises Arsenal star ahead of Palace clash

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a ‘massive player’ within the first-team squad and he is ‘very pleased’ with the forward’s recent comments about his future.

Aubameyang recently revealed his commitment towards the club in his programme notes ahead of the FA Cup tie against Leeds United and this has eased the speculation regarding his contract situation at the club.

Speaking in the press conference ahead of the Crystal Palace clash, Arteta was very pleased with the comments made by the Gabon international and he talked about the importance of the 30-year-old towards the club’s plans.

“I was very pleased to read those comments. He knows exactly what I think about him and obviously he’s a massive player for us. But at the moment we’re in the middle of the season and we haven’t discussed anything further on that at the club,” he told.

Still, the Spaniard refused to provide any update on a possible new contract for the experienced forward but stated that Aubameyang should be ‘very happy’ based on the comments made earlier in the week.

Aubameyang’s current deal is due to expire in less than 18 months’ time and so far, there has been no progress made with regards to a contract extension for the versatile ace.

The Gunners’ hierarchy are quite clear that they won’t entertain any players entering the final year of their respective contracts and a solution over Aubameyang’s contract should be found by the end of the campaign.

Aubameyang missed the FA Cup third round win over Leeds United with flu but he is likely to make his comeback for Saturday’s early Premier League kick-off against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The Gunners are winless in the past three games against their London counterparts. Arteta will be aiming to erase this streak and help the side win back-to-back top-flight matches for the first time since August.

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