Gary Neville has hailed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as ‘world-class’ following the Arsenal forward’s performance during the club’s 3-2 win over Everton on Sunday.
Aubameyang moved level with Leicester’s Jamie Vardy in the race for the Premier League‘s Golden Boot after scoring twice in an entertaining victory for Mikel Arteta’s side at the Emirates, the 30-year-old now firmly in the race to finish as the division’s top scorer for a second successive season.
Neville was left impressed by the Gabon international’s showing this weekend and believes the Arsenal captain has not received the plaudits he deserves in recent seasons.
“Including me, we have stopped short of announcing Aubameyang as world-class,” Neville said on Sky Sports. “We’re happy to go with Aguero, we’re happy to go with Mane and Salah, Firmino, Kane… all these players who have graced the Premier League in the last two or three seasons.
“I feel that Aubameyang doesn’t get that same credit and maybe it’s something that comes from when he first entered into English football. It was a case of, ‘Why didn’t any of the top clubs want him? How did Arsenal get him? Is there something wrong with him? Why didn’t Klopp take him to Anfield?’ All these questions were being asked. I asked them myself.
“But now we’re talking about a really high level of performance over a couple of years and today, I thought it was a brilliant performance from him. Not just his goals, which he took really well, but also the shift that he put in.”
Arteta’s arrival as manager in December has seen Aubamyeang asked to play a differing role for the north London side of late, operating largely from the left-hand side as opposed to his favoured central striking role.
Most #PL goals since Aubameyang's debut
49 – Aubameyang
49 – Salah pic.twitter.com/WckSPuCF6Z
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 23, 2020
Neville was full of praise for how the 30-year-old has adapted to the demands placed on him, and says the forward has ‘everything you would want in a football player’ following his recent displays.
“I didn’t know how he would adapt to being told to go and play on the left-hand side – and the idea of doing a shift there when you think you’re the top man and you’re the goalscorer – but he seems to have really bought into it,” said Neville.
“He doesn’t look like he has been a moment’s bother since he’s come to Arsenal, so all the suggestions that he could have issues off the pitch have not materialised.
“I think it’s getting to the point now where you could argue that he is the top goalscorer in the Premier League over the last couple of seasons.
“He’s one of the best players we’ve got in the Premier League, but for some reason he doesn’t quite get the credit and the plaudits that others get. I don’t know why that is, but I think now’s the time for us all to start recognising the quality and the brilliance of this player.
“He fights for the team, he’s always there, and for me, he’s everything you would want in a football player.”
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