Sokratis Papastathopoulos has backed Arsenal team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to hit 30 Premier League goals by the end of the season.
The Gabon forward scored a brace in Saturday’s 3-1 victory at home to Burnley on Saturday to move above Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah as the league’s top goalscorer with 12 strikes to his name.
Aubameyang, 29, moved to the Emirates Stadium last January and has been in fine form since and he continued that as two smart finishes put Unai Emery’s side on course for victory over the Clarets.
Ashley Barnes pulled one back for the visitors before Alex Iwobi wrapped up the points for Arsenal in stoppage time.
But it is Aubameyang, with 22 goals in 31 Premier League games since joining from Borussia Dortmund, who Sokratis feels can continue to impress.
“I know Auba. I’ve known him for six or seven years,” Sokratis – who also played alongside Aubameyang in Dortmund, told Arsenal’s official website.
“In these games he does it every time, one, two or three goals. I think 30 will happen. I hope that he will win it (the golden boot).”
Burnley posed a physical challenge to Arsenal, with Barnes arguably lucky to be on the pitch to pull a goal back having been booked and committed further fouls.
Sean Dyche, the Clarets boss, accused Arsenal of diving during the game, while Barnes and Sokratis had an off-the-field tussle following a coming together in the first-half.
“It was a difficult game,” the Greece international defender added.
“Sometimes it was too much, but I don’t think that was my mistake. I just stood up to go from the ball. But it is okay, it’s football, it can happen.
“It was important for us to win three points. Now we have to look forward to the next games.”
While Arsenal got back to winning ways following two defeats, Burnley remain in the bottom three having won only three league games all season.
Barnes, who had not scored since a double against Bournemouth on September 22, has backed a squad which was good enough to qualify for Europe last season to bounce back in the coming weeks.
“I got a goal but the main thing is the points that we need to start picking up,” he told the club’s official website.
“We’ll dust ourselves down and we’ll get ready for Wednesday (against Everton) and hopefully come out with the three points.
GOAAAAALLLLLL!!!!!!! BARNES! pic.twitter.com/ISnndRYSBI— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) December 22, 2018
“These games are important and for everyone to get behind us and us to put in the performances we have done in the last few games.
“I am confident with that group of players in the changing room and the work we do for each other. We’ve still got half of the season left. I have no qualms we will get out of it.”