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Everton vs Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has to step up as senior stars look to match young guns

The forward is going through a rough patch right now and his disappointing display at Old Trafford has gone five straight games without a goal. You also have to go back to May to find the last time he scored away in the Premier League.

“You are always [concerned] when your main attacker doesn’t score goals but does his best, ”said Mikel Arteta.

“He’s aware of how much we need him as a team to score goals and at the moment they’re not coming but the rest of the things we ask him to do he’s doing his best.”

Tonight would be the perfect time for Aubameyang to regain his form. The victories for Manchester United, Tottenham and West Ham over the weekend mean Arsenal fell to seventh in the Premier League, which is frustrating as the victory at Old Trafford on Thursday would have seen them rank among the first four.

Young players, such as Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, have been at the heart of Arsenal’s brilliant run recently, but now the squad’s senior players have to rise to the occasion.

Arteta made this exact point after the loss to Manchester United, which once again saw a youngster like Gabriel Martinelli eclipse Aubameyang and Thomas Partey.

“What I said is that the senior players are the ones who have to lead and the younger players are the ones who have to follow,” said Arteta.

“We need that balance in performance on the pitch and also off the pitch. We get that balance and we have to continue not to rely too much on the rest and it’s a team, it’s not two teams that are separated, and we need that balance and to manage those moments.

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Aubameyang’s struggles have led to his place in the squad being questioned, but his woes are nothing compared to those of Everton boss Rafa Benitez.

Failure to win tonight would see the Toffees play nine Premier League games without a win for the first time since 1994. They’ve been in dire straits in their eight-game winless streak, scoring five goals and conceding 17.

Injury to striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who is a target for Arsenal next summer, hasn’t helped Benitez but it looks like the Spaniard is running out of time.

Everton fans plan to protest tonight by briefly leaving their seats in the 27th minute, which is a nod to the club who have gone 27 years without a trophy.

That sums up the vibe at Goodison Park and, on paper, a trip to Everton tonight seems like the perfect opportunity for Arsenal and Aubameyang to get their season back on track.


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