Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta thinks captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been “convinced to stay here for longer” after his starring role in the Community Shield win over Liverpool.
Forward Aubameyang, whose Gunners contract expires next summer, curled in a fantastic opener – before Takumi Minamino’s equaliser – and then scored the winning penalty in the shootout at Wembley on Saturday.
“It’s an exciting time to be an Arsenal player,” said the 31-year-old Gabon international.
The FA Cup winners have been trying to tie Aubameyang down to a new contract for some time.
He has scored 70 goals in 109 games since joining Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund for a club record £56m in January 2018.
Aubameyang was made captain in November after midfielder Granit Xhaka was stripped of the armband by Arteta’s predecessor Unai Emery.
“My job is to try to convince him he’s at the right place at the right time,” Arteta told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“I think we got that and then we have to make the paperwork and that takes a bit of time.”
Aubameyang’s excellent 20-yard strike on Saturday made him only the second Gunners player to score five Wembley goals, after Alexis Sanchez.
And they have all come since July – he netted twice in the 2-0 win over Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final before another double as Chelsea were beaten 2-1 in the final.
Asked about his future after the Community Shield, Aubameyang said: “We’re going to see in these days. Today we take the trophy – that’s it.
“We are improving. There is still work to do but I’m really happy.”
Aubameyang won the Bundesliga golden boot in 2017 and the Premier League version in 2019, although his only major trophies are the German Cup, FA Cup and French League Cup with Saint-Etienne.
Klopp wants five substitutes rule kept
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hopes Premier League clubs change their minds and vote to keep five substitutions this season.
The rule was brought in across the world to help teams finish their 2019-20 or 2020 seasons amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Leagues were allowed to keep that for 2020-21 but Premier League clubs voted earlier in August to go back to the regular three substitutions rule.
There is reportedly going to be another vote this week, although critics say it would benefit bigger teams with more money to build bigger, stronger squads.
“I don’t want to have an advantage in the competition or whatever, but we have 38 Premier League games and that means just that these things would help,” said Klopp.
“I can imagine that other teams will see it differently. It’s all about how we can get through this season, not who can get a little advantage here and there. For the sake of the football players and the performance levels, I think it would make sense.”
Premier League champions Liverpool started training two weeks ago, while Arsenal – who won the FA Cup on 1 August – have been back for one week.
Arteta said some of the players in his starting XI on Saturday had had one only training session.
“I keep demanding them, I keep pushing them and they keep responding,” he said. “They’re willing to do more.
“We knew the challenge we had today against us in probably the best team in Europe. But you can see how the guys compete, how they believe.”
Klopp said: “In the decisive areas I want us to be more convincing, more creative, but we had two weeks of training after a short break, after a long season.
“We are preparing for the full season, not for this game today. If we’d played a friendly today I’d have said we were in a perfect position.”
Each European country plays two Nations League games in next week’s international break before the Premier League season starts on 12 September.
“Now we send our players to the national teams and we have no idea what they will do there,” said Klopp. “Are we happy about it? No. But we’re not moaning about anything and there is nothing to criticise.
“We will only have three days to prepare for Leeds. They don’t have that many internationals so they train for two weeks. We need to make sure we are ready.”