Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has proved to be a suitable heir to Thierry Henry at Arsenal, but the Gabonese admits he was initially against following in the Frenchman’s footsteps by taking the club’s No.14 shirt.
The Gunners moved to snap up the prolific striker during the winter transfer window of 2018.
Aubameyang has proved to be a shrewd addition, with 61 goals recorded through 97 appearances.
That strike rate puts him in a talent bracket alongside World Cup winner Henry, who remains Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer .
Aubameyang has certainly filled the jersey passed to him upon his arrival, with added responsibility being embraced rather than shunned.
The 30-year-old was, however, reluctant to take No.14 at first and only took it on once it became apparent that Alexandre Lacazette and Henrikh Mkhitaryan would not be parting with nine and seven respectively.
Explaining his number call, Aubameyang told Arsenal TV : “I like two numbers, nine and seven.
“But he (Lacazette) has nine and Miki had seven. I asked Miki before I came ‘will you be taking the No.7?’ and he said yes so I said ‘OK I will try something else’.
“He left, but I scored a lot of goals with this number 14 so I leave it like this.”
Aubameyang’s efforts for Arsenal have seen him become club captain, with a talismanic presence being asked to lead by example.
He has had plenty of opportunities to break out his trademark somersault celebration.
The Gabon international has previously incorporated face masks and Blank Panther tributes into his act , but now favours a spot of acrobatics.
Concerns have been raised regarding the threat of injury when taking to the air and landing heavily on his feet, but Aubameyang claims to have perfected his routine with home-based practice.
He added: “I’ve been doing it for too many years now.
“I practised at home first on the sofa! On my bed!”
Arsenal will be hoping to see plenty more of Aubameyang’s celebration, but are approaching a big summer when it comes to a prized asset.
With their skipper approaching the final 12 months of his current contract and no extension agreed as yet, it has been suggested that a big-money move could be made elsewhere .