Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signed a new three-year deal on Tuesday before announcing his aim of leaving a “legacy” at the club.
The 31-year-old confirmed his new contract in a live Instagram video on the club’s official account, bringing in over 109,000 viewers at one point.
The PA news agency understands the deal was agreed some weeks ago in the aftermath of Aubameyang scoring both goals in the 2-1 FA Cup final win over Chelsea on August 1.
The Gabon striker has been a talisman for the Gunners ever since joining from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018.
He has scored 72 goals in 111 games across all competitions and reached 50 Premier League goals in just 79 appearances – a record for an Arsenal player.
Now he has put pen to paper, Aubameyang is keen to emulate others who have made their names at Arsenal before him as he name-checked Thierry Henry, Ian Wright, Tony Adams and Dennis Bergkamp.
“Of course I knew about Arsenal before I arrived,” he said in a separate video celebrating his new deal.
“Everybody knows how special this club is, I have seen incredible players, passionate players, Invincible players.
“I dream of being one of them, amongst the best, and staying in the hearts of the fans forever.
“I want to become an Arsenal legend just like Thierry, Wrighty, Adams and Bergkamp – too many to mention.
“My dad is my biggest inspiration, he was captain of his club and his country so it means so much to me to be the captain of this special club.
“I want to leave a legacy, this is where I belong, this is my family.”
While speaking live on the Emirates Stadium pitch, Aubameyang added: “I am really, really happy to stay here.
“This is my home. I want to become an Arsenal legend and maybe leave a legacy. It’s time to work a lot to become a legend but for sure I will give my best as always.”
He also spoke live to Wright and current Arsenal team-mate Alexandre Lacazette.
Wright, who himself scored 185 goals for the club, praised Aubameyang for committing to the club.
“I love you, man. Thank you for signing – others left in the past but you’ve stayed with us when we needed you most,” he said.
“You are legendary status for life. I love you, captain. Everyone’s happy man. I’m going to try and come and see you later. The fans love you.”
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been asked about Aubameyang’s contract on a weekly basis even before his match-winning double in the cup final.
The Spaniard always declared his confidence in his belief that Aubameyang would extend his stay and even told fans on Friday that they should “relax” about the situation.
Aubameyang would then captain Arsenal to a 3-0 win at Fulham to open their Premier League season with a win – adding a fine third goal in the process.
“It was important for Pierre-Emerick to stay with us,” Arteta said in the statement confirming the details of Aubameyang’s new contract.
“He’s a superb player with an incredible mentality. Being the player to have taken the least amount of time to reach 50 goals with this club tells you everything you need to know about him and his way of working.
“He’s an important leader for the team and a big part of what we’re building. He wants to be up there with the best players in the world and leave his mark. He can achieve that here.”
While Aubameyang extended his deal, it is becoming increasingly likely that one of his team-mates will soon bring an end to their stay in north London.
The PA news agency understands there is interest from a number of Italian clubs in securing the services of Uruguay international midfielder Lucas Torreira, with Torino believed to be winning the race for his signature.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez’s move away is edging clearer as he closes in on a switch to Aston Villa.
Martinez was in fine form at the back end of last season but it is believed he was told he would be second-choice to fit-again Bernd Leno this year and is now keen to play elsewhere.