Aubameyang thought Wenger would remain for years

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has revealed he signed for Arsenal in the belief Arsene Wenger would stay on as manager “for years”.

Wenger bowed out yesterday after 22 years in charge with a 1-0 win at Huddersfield on a highly emotional afternoon at the John Smith’s Stadium.

The Gunners will now step up their search for the Frenchman’s successor, with Massimiliano Allegri, Mikel Arteta and Julian Nagelsmann among the names under serious consideration.

Whoever takes over will inherit one of the Premier League’s in-form goalscorers as Aubameyang netted the only goal at Huddersfield to take his tally to 10 in 14 appearances since joining the Gunners from Borussia Dortmund in January for a club-record £56million.

And the 28-year-old admitted he made the switch to play under Wenger, expressing his surprise at his decision to depart.

“I thought he would be at Arsenal for years,” Aubameyang told Standard Sport. “But this is life. This is football. Sometimes you never know. But I was happy to play for him. I learned a lot in not a lot of time to work with him. I am happy to be here.

“Yesterday (Sunday) was important for us because it was the last game for the boss. It was important to win this game for him. It was special.”

Although the identity of Arsenal’s new manager remains unclear, Aubameyang believes there are positive signs for next season. 

The Gunners had to wait until the final day of the campaign to pick up their first away point of 2018 and a sixth-place finish is the lowest in Wenger’s time at the club.

However, Aubameyang’s personal return was a highlight, all the more impressive given he was left out of the Dortmund team prior to his move and was ineligible for Arsenal’s Europa League matches.

“At the beginning, it was really hard because physically I was not ready,” he said. “I did not play in January, all month, so it was not easy. 

“But after big work with the staff, I found my form again. I scored some goals and thanks to my team-mates, of course, because we work for that.

“These last few weeks we played well and we have a lot of young players. It is good for the future and I am sure next season will be a good season.”

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