It’s not everyday you get the chance to score your maiden hat-trick for your new club but Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubayemang passed up the chance to register his first treble since moving to English shores when he allowed Alexandre Lacazette to covert a late penalty against Stoke City.
After converting cooly the first spot-kick in the 75th minute to fire the Gunners into the lead, Aubameyang doubled the North Londoners’ lead with a fine half-volley four minutes from time to further extend the hosts’ advantage.
And Arsene Wenger’s men would be awarded another penalty in the closing stages but this time their club-record signing showed he’s a team player as he gave the ball to Lacazette and the French forward promptly dispatched his effort past Jack Butland to make it 3-0.
In his post-match interview with Sky Sports, Aubameyang stated, “I know I could have scored a hat-trick but it was perhaps more important for Lacazette to regain his confidence and that’s why I let him take the ball.”
Don’t miss: Stoke City pay the penalties as Arsenal cruise
Lacazette, Arsenal’s record signing when he arrived in the summer of 2017, has had a difficult debut season in the English top-flight and Aubayemang’s arrival (the former Borussia Dortmund man broke Lacazette’s transfer record) in January has put his long-term future at the club in major doubt.
Wenger clearly prefers the Gabonese international to his own compatriot and so far Aubameyang’s hit the ground running with five goals and an assist in his six appearances (Premier League only).
It remains to be seen if Lacazette will remain an Arsenal player once the summer transfer window opens for it is rare in modern football to see two forwards playing together.
Aubameyang’s versatility allows him to be utilised as a winger, but with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhtiaryan and Danny Welbeck at Wenger’s disposal, the Gabonese would be better suited towards a centre forward role.