Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reminds me of Thierry Henry - Wenger
LONDON -- Arsene Wenger says new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang already reminds him of Thierry Henry, and has called on the striker to prove his greatness in the Premier League.
Aubameyang became Arsenal's record signing when he joined in a £56 million deal from Borussia Dortmund last week and it hasn't taken long for the Gabon international to draw comparisons to the Gunners' all-time record scorer.
When asked which of his former strikers Aubameyang most reminds him of, Wenger said: "I would say Thierry Henry with his quality of runs. But it's a bit too early to compare him to the best player ever who played here. He has played one game. But it's a good example to follow."
Aubameyang scored with a delicately chipped finish in last weekend's 5-1 win over Everton, making an instant impact despite having trained just once with the rest of the team ahead of the match. And, ahead of the North London derby against Tottenham at Wembley, Wenger warned that the forward will only get better as he gets used to his new teammates.
"He came in on Tuesday [last week] and we still had to keep him out of training because he had still not recovered physically from his sickness. But yesterday he had a good session. He will be a bit sharper on Saturday than he was last week," Wenger said.
"His target is to have an impact in the Premier League because he knows that, today, to be acknowledged as a top class striker, you have to do it in the Premier League. That is one of his challenges, I think, by joining us."
Aubameyang has inherited the No. 14 shirt worn by Henry and also compared himself to the French legend after joining the club -- although he admitted he has a lot of work to do in order to follow in Henry's footsteps.
"It is an ambitious statement but it is a good one, the best goal scorer ever in Arsenal's history, so it doesn't mean he will be score as many goals but why not?" Wenger said. "His finishing is good, you don't score by coincidence for so many years.
"If you play football, even in five-a-side, it is difficult to score goals so when the guys can repeat that at the top level they have that quality. Running-wise, yes, he is a good example to follow but Thierry came a bit more to the ball and participated more in the game."
Aubameyang has been one of Europe's leading scorers for the past four years at Dortmund, and netted 79 goals in all competitions over the last two campaigns. Wenger tried to temper expectations. though, by pointing out that goals can be harder to come by in the Premier League.
"What we have observed is that the transfer nowadays from the goals scored in other leagues does not necessarily transfer 100 percent to the English Premier League," Wenger said. "When we played at Swansea [a 3-1 defeat], we played against 10 men in the last 25 yards and that doesn't exist anywhere in Europe. To be as prolific in the Premier League is today much more difficult."
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.