Unai Emery believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang merits his role as Arsenal’s vice-captain, seeing it as a reward for his leadership and experience.
The 30-year-old striker was elected to the position by his team-mates and has already worn the armband when club captain Granit Xhaka was substituted against Aston Villa in the Premier League on September 22.
Emery says the fact that Aubameyang was chosen for the role is testament to his confidence and maturity in English football.
“He is an experienced player now,” he said of the former Dortmund man at a press conference.
“He played in France, Germany and now in England at a high level and with a high performance.
“His experience is good, his team-mates decided with the vote that they wanted him as vice-captain.
“I am usually speaking with him and now he is more confident and more mature in the Premier League compared to when I arrived last year, he came only six months before me.”
In the game against Villa, Aubameyang gave up his regular penalty duties to allow club-record signing Nicolas Pepe to open his account for the Gunners.
Pepe scored the spot-kick, the first of two Arsenal equalisers in a game they went on to win thanks to an Aubameyang goal as time wound down.
That kind of decision reinforces the leadership qualities of a man who is on the verge of 50 Premier League goals, according to his head coach.
“I told him when he decided against Aston Villa when we were losing to give the penalty to Pepe for his confidence, it was an amazing decision,” added Emery.
“It showed him as a big player with big responsibility in this team, a captain of this team. He gave that responsibility to Pepe and in that moment it was a great moment between two big players – a very good connection.
“In the the dressing room and in the matches, that connection with Pepe, also with [Alexandre] Lacazette, it means Aubameyang is important to make these positive connections.”
Arsenal face Bournemouth on Sunday, a chance for Aubameyang to reach his half-century in just his 75th appearance for the Gunners.
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