Football: Speed demon Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a race to win trophies with Arsenal

Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at a press conference for an event hosted by club sponsor Acronis at Suntec City on July 27, 2018.
Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at a press conference for an event hosted by club sponsor Acronis at Suntec City on July 27, 2018.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The modern professional footballer can be fed reams of data, from resting heart rate to rate of oxygen consumption to distance ran, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's eyes will zoom in on one particular number each time he is handed a dossier.

"Speed, of course. Everybody knows about my speed. It's all my life," the Arsenal striker told The Straits Times without hesitation on Friday (July 27).

"I like to watch videos of my matches and training and read data about my speed and distance. That's important as it helps me improve every day.

"This year, at a training session, I did 37kmh. It's a good score. (Kylian) Mbappe did the same at the World Cup. I'm 29 now, so it's not bad (Mbappe is 19). I do look out for data on other players like (Mohamed) Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo."

In the World Cup last-16 match between Argentina and France, Les Bleus striker Mbappe covered 70m in seven seconds at a speed of 38kmh. Other notable speed demons in the sport are Ronaldo (34kmh), Salah (33kmh), Gareth Bale (37kmh) and Leroy Sane (35kmh).

The Gabon international Aubameyang was speaking on the sidelines of an event hosted by the club's official cyber protection partner, Acronis, at Suntec City. Team-mates Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi were also present.

The Singapore-Swiss company, which specialises in cyber security, will be the Gunners' new technology partner.

According to Arsenal's commercial director Peter Silverstone, the club use up to eight terabytes of data a year to store footage, data and analysis of 875 matches played by the first team and academy sides.

Perhaps, part of that database would contain a dissection of what makes Aubameyang so deadly and how a particular team-mate brings the best out of him.

In their final season together at Borussia Dortmund in 2015/16, the striker and Henrikh Mkhitaryan shared 59 goals and 31 assists between them.

That probably convinced Arsenal to sign Aubameyang for a club-record £56 million (S$100 million) in January and authorise a swop deal for the Armenian playmaker with Alexis Sanchez heading to Manchester United.

Aubameyang made an immediate impression by scoring 10 goals in his first 13 Premier League games.

"I had a good partnership with Micki (Mkhitaryan) in the past and the same with him at Arsenal now," he said of his time so far at the Emirates Stadium.

"It's the same with (Alexandre) Lacazette also, I feel we are playing together very well. People were thinking we are two similar strikers but, so far, we have been playing good football together.

With such a goal ratio, he is a serious rival to Liverpool's Salah and Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane for the Premier League's Golden Boot this season.

But, Aubameyang, the 2015 African Footballer of the Year, yearns for a major trophy to go along with the league cup he won with St Etienne and the German Cup he lifted at Dortmund.

He said: "I hope we will have a good season and win some titles. That's the most important. Not for the moment, my life at Arsenal is just beginning. The team is much more important."