ARSENAL star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is one of the best counter-attacking players on the planet.
That is according to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who managed the jet-heeled forward at Borussia Dortmund.
Aubameyang scored 141 goals in four-and-a-half years with the Bundesliga giants before joining Arsenal for a club-record £56m fee in January.
He will pose a major threat to Liverpool’s defence in this evening’s Premier League clash, but Klopp is aware of his qualities.
“Oh, Auba… yes, the biggest threat: speed and goal threat. It’s unbelievable,” Klopp said.
“He’s one of the best players for the counter-attack that you can find on this planet because of the timing of the runs and the really outstanding finishing record in situations like that.
“When we scouted him at Saint-Etienne he played more from the wing and he played more for me at Dortmund on the wing as well because for us it was not clear how he could keep the ball up front with his back to the opponent, stuff like that.
“But then he ended up doing that really well as well. He can play both positions, from the wing or as a single striker or together with another striker.
“This makes him a very good player to be honest. He’s a really nice guy with different tastes gear wise, stuff like that. It was always really a pleasure to work with him.”
ARSENAL VS LIVERPOOL LIVE
Klopp also revealed that Aubameyang was a dream to work with.
When asked if he was difficult to manage, the German said: “No, not for a second. He’s a very smart boy.
“I think he speaks French, Italian, German and English – at least four, if not five languages. By the way it was the same with (Henrikh)Mkhitaryan. I think he speaks for sure five languages, Russian included.
“There is another player of mine. When we signed him we were very excited about that opportunity and he did really well at Dortmund.”
Arsenal vs Liverpool Team News
Arsenal boss Unai Emery could be unable to call upon a host of defenders.
Hector Bellerin (thigh) is being assessed ahead of the game alongside fellow full-backs Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac – who are both recovering from hamstring issues – and Sokratis Papastathopoulos (ankle).
Laurent Koscielny is still not up to speed following an Achilles injury, while midfielder Matteo Guendouzi is suspended and Mohamed Elneny (thigh) is also missing.
Liverpool midfielders Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson will not be available.
Both are only scheduled to return to training over the next couple of days after hamstring injuries but could come into contention next weekend.
Andrew Robertson is set to return at left-back after being rested last weekend.
Arsenal provisional squad: Leno, Cech, Jenkinson, Bellerin, Lichtsteiner, Holding, Mustafi, Papastathopoulos, Monreal, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Torreira, Ramsey, Smith Rowe, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Welbeck, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Liverpool provisional squad: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Milner, Lallana, Salah, Firmino, Mane, Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Moreno, Fabinho, Shaqiri, Sturridge, Origi.
Arsenal vs Liverpool Prediction
BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson is predicting a win for Liverpool.
“Both of these teams look dangerous when they come forward but at the back Liverpool are stronger, and they look a much better all-round team than they did 12 months ago,” he said.
“Arsenal still have something of a soft centre, and the opposition always seems to create chances against them – which is asking for trouble against Liverpool.
“The Gunners won 11 games in a row before they drew at Crystal Palace on Sunday but they have not played a top side since they lost to Manchester City and Chelsea at the start of the season.
“I think Liverpool will have a little bit too much for them but, even if Arsenal do lose, this has still been a very encouraging start by their new manager Unai Emery.”
Michael Owen is also predicting an enjoyable evening for Liverpool.
“Arsenal’s long winning run came to an end at Selhurst Park on Sunday and this is their first game against a “big six” club since their losses to Manchester City and Chelsea at the beginning of the season,” the former Red said.
“The Gunners have not led at half-time in any of their Premier League games so far this season and they will need to be at the top of their game from the off against a Liverpool side who will try and hit the hosts hard on the break.
“A big game for both clubs – Arsenal will move to within a point of the Reds with a win, but the gap will be seven if Jurgen Klopp’s side take the points. A Liverpool win for me. 3-1.”