Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has heaped praise on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while also likening him to Thierry Henry.

Aubameyang has scored nine goals in 15 games this season, but he came up short in Arsenal’s 0-0 draw against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Keown compared the 29-year-old to his former teammate Henry, but in the same breath claimed he was not mentally ready after replacing Danny Welbeck.

“He’s the closest thing to Thierry Henry that I’ve seen,” Keown told BT Sport, as reported by the Daily Mail.

“Someone in his camp should be pushing him on, dragging that performance out of him because he is a special talent, he scores lots of goals and it’s just a hunger get him to boiling point, I don’t think he was there tonight.

“Aubameyang really let them down a bit in front of goal, if only he had taken his chances… He’s a player who I rate really very highly. He was taken off against Liverpool and he didn’t seem happy with that.

“With the (Welbeck) injury, it caught him out more than anyone else, he wasn’t ready mentally and I think on another night he would have put these chances away.”

Keown also hailed the attacking partnership being formed between the Gabon international and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, describing the pair as having a “telepathic” understanding of each other.

He added: “Mkhitaryan is a player who really looks out for him, they seem to have a telepathic link-up – he just knows these balls are coming, when you see it from another angle it should be a goal. It didn’t quite come off for him.”

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Despite Aubameyang’s shortcomings in Europe,  he’s spearheading a revitalised Gunners side who have come on leaps and bounds since a turbulent beginning to the campaign.

The striker currently leads the Premier League’s top scorer table alongside Eden Hazard and Sergio Aguero and will be looking to add to his seven goals when Arsenal host Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.

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