HEARTBROKEN Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admits he sulked for a WEEK after missing out on Champions League football.
The £60m Arsenal striker had a sensational first full season in England, scoring 31 times in all competitions, including 22 times in the Premier League.
Yet he was as frustrated as anybody that it ultimately counted for nothing as the Gunners finished in fifth place in the Premier League and were then battered 4-1 by Chelsea in the Europa League final in Baku.
Despite the repeated success in the competition by manager Unai Emery, the Gunners will once again step on the Europa League treadmill this forthcoming season.
Asked if the Baku debacle was still in his head as flew off for his summer hols, honest Aubameyang said: “Yes, of course.
“For one week I was really disappointed, but what can you do now? It’s over.
“We have to start a new season and of course everyone is not happy with the result in the Europa League final but we have to look forward because life is not finished.
“We have to move forward and reach our goals in this new season.”
With Gabon not qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, Aubameyang had a rare summer off and spent it exploring the globe.
The 30-year-old said: “I was on holidays everywhere. I was in Milan first, then Miami and the Bahamas – it was nice!
“I will not say that I’m not happy to be back, but the holidays were great.
“I work a lot every summer because I know it’s important to stay fit and, when I come back, pre-season is easier for me if I have stayed in shape.
“Sometimes I play games with my friends, and I try to run and do a lot of stuff to keep my fitness up.”
On Sunday he will face Lyon in the annual Emirates Cup, looking to end a goal-scoring drought against the French giants, the former club of Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette.
And given Aubameyang played for two years with local rivals St Etienne, there has been plenty of banter flying around in the dressing room with his strike partner.
Aubameyang said: “It’s a big rivalry. It’s tough!
“Me and Laca are always talking about it in the dressing room because obviously we played against each other and it was always a big fight when it’s the derby.
“But we all know what a derby means. It’s a big game, a good rivalry.
“I never won against them! I remember the goal I scored, though. It was in the Coupe de la Ligue (in October 2011) and it was the only one I scored against Lyon, but it was a really, really good sensation.
“It’s always good to play at the Emirates, so it will be great to be back in the stadium and see our fans who are there. It will be a great game against good players, and it’s always good to play big games in pre-season.”
Aubameyang was speaking in the Emirates Cup match-day programme – a ‘Double Edition’ which covers both matches on an historic day for the club.