Arteta did also concede the team needed to help the Gabon international more

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Mikel Arteta says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is aware he must improve his performances in an Arsenal shirt.

The Gabon forward, 31, goes into Sunday’s match at Leeds United having scored just two Premier League goals this season, and four in all competitions.

Aubameyang ended a period of intense speculation on September 15 by signing a new three-year contract but has found the net just twice since then; a penalty at Manchester United at the start of November and a Europa League winner at Rapid Vienna last month.

His two previous campaigns each saw him net 22 goals from 36 Premier League appearances; in 2018-19 that was enough to share the Golden Boot with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané.

Arsenal manager Arteta said he saw the goal drought as little more than an occupational hazard world-class forwards faced occasionally.

"I think himself, he knows as well what he can do, the things that he needs to improve in his game to be more decisive," he said. 

"It will come. I haven’t known any striker in the world that for 10 years never had a period where he wasn’t scoring as much.

"It is how you navigate that period and how quickly you come back to do what you have always done. For them it is something normal. As a coach I have to help him as much as I can."

Arteta also admitted that "we need to help him more" however and for many Arsenal supporters and ex-players that could be most easily achieved by switching Aubemeyang’s position from the left of an attacking three to the focal point of the trio.

The former Borussia Dortmund forward had been particularly effective cutting in from the flank but inevitably that success led to opposition coaches working hard on counter measures.

Sam Dean's Arsenal briefing

Arteta has mainly been employing Alexandre Lacazette as the central striker but the Frenchman has not scored since September 28. 

"I am open to many options as I am open to use different formations or change the team with different names," Arteta said about moving Aubameyang to the middle. "It is always a possibility."

Arsenal have accumulated 12 points from their first eight games, two more than Leeds on their long-awaited return to the top flight under Marcelo Bielsa, the Argentinian revered by many a top manager.

"I haven’t spent any time with him but I know a lot of players including one of my best friends who spent a lot of years with him," Arteta said. "So I know a lot about his methods, who he is as a person and who he is as a manager as well, and I have admired him for many, many years.

"I am aware of the way he is able to change a football club immediately with his mentality, the messages he sends and his personality and charisma. 

"He transformed the club and the belief in the fans that they could come back and be the club that they were a few years back."

That is also Arteta’s mission at Arsenal of course and the Spaniard has had to contend with a week that saw Aubemeyang spent a night on a airport floor, Willian make an unauthorised ‘business’ trip to Dubai, Mo Elneny and Sead Kolasinac both test positive for COVID-19 and news of a training ground fight between David Luiz and Dani Ceballos leaked to the media.