The Gunners’ former head of recruitment, who helped to take the Gabonese striker to north London, has saluted the qualities he brings to any team
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been billed as the “absolute team player” by Sven Mislintat, with the Arsenal striker considered to boast qualities that the likes of Neymar and Sergio Aguero do not.
The Gabonese has always been a prolific presence, with his efforts in France and Germany for the likes of Saint-Etienne and Borussia Dortmund showcasing undoubted ability.
Arsenal are now the ones benefiting from that skill set, with former head of recruitment Mislintat having helped to take him to the Emirates Stadium in January 2018.
Aubameyang has thrived in England, recording 49 goals in 75 appearances for the Gunners to date, but has been hailed as much more than just a finisher.
He boasts the predatory instincts of the best frontmen on the planet, but does not have the same selfish streak as some.
Mislintat believes that may have worked against him at times, but is also a notable tick in the box for Arsenal and anyone looking for a perfect role model.
“He is one, possibly the only one, of these extraordinary top, top, top strikers who is an absolute team player,” Mislintat told The Athletic.
“A striker like Neymar or Aguero, for example, would never give a penalty to Pepe to score his first goal. It’s vice versa — ‘Come on, I will take this penalty kick, nobody else!’ Auba gave the chance to Pepe.
“His instinct was, ‘Let’s score and let’s go forward together’. He takes care about his team-mates.
“Since he joined Arsenal, he played where he was asked and needed, and so he helped especially Lacazette to adapt to the Premier League.
“Maybe this attitude costs him to play for clubs like Real Madrid or Barcelona but maybe they made a mistake not to go for him. I like his mindset. It is good for a team’s atmosphere.”
Aubameyang allowed Nicolas Pepe to step up to the spot and record his first goal for Arsenal during a Premier League clash with Aston Villa.
The Gunners saw their leading marksman go on to net the winner in that game, as they prevailed 3-2 with 10 men, with another example offered of how important winning the race for a prized signature was.
Mislintat added on Aubameyang’s decision to swap Dortmund for Arsenal: “It was clear Auba had to make the next move in his career.
“There were some rumours he was going to go to China. I thought that was too early a move for him.
“I knew Auba well and knew he wanted to play for a big side in England or Spain. When I started talking to him, it was obvious it was not about money; it was about a new challenge, to play in the biggest and most competitive league to compete with the best players. And it was about reaching the next level.
“Today, he is one of a few players who were able to score a substantial number of goals in at least three of the big five leagues.”