Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's shaky form this season has nothing to do with the new contract that the striker signed last summer, says Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.
The Gunners captain signed a new three-year deal in September after a stellar campaign but his form has been patchy ever since.
He has scored just 14 goals in 31 games this season after netting 29 and 31 in the past two campaigns.
Premier League
Arteta's bland football is sending apathetic Arsenal fans to sleep - Opinion
YESTERDAY AT 12:25
But Arteta says his drop off has nothing to do with the new contract.
"It is easy to connect things like that, but I am not suspicious of that," Arteta said.
"We have had conversations about what he wanted to do from last year's point of view to his near future in the next two years, and he was ambitious with that.
"To maintain that level is complicated but he is trying his best."

Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal celebrates with Gabriel Martinelli and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang after scoring their side's third goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Arsenal

Image credit: Getty Images

Aubameyang's form has improved in the new year with nine goals in his last 15 games, and Arteta added that he is hoping for the striker to end the campaign positively.
"We talked about the ratio of goals we need him to score to give us the best chance of being at the top," he said. "It has not been what it has been in recent years and it's contributed to by a lot of things. It is not just his thing.
"We need Auba in different form in the next games to give us our best chance to finish where we want to finish."
Arsenal, who are ninth in the standings, host champions Liverpool later on Saturday.

Barcelona line-up Serie A duo as Haaland alternatives - Euro Papers

Premier League
'We threw it away' - Arteta disappointed with Arsenal draw against Palace
YESTERDAY AT 22:10
Premier League
Lacazette scores last-gasp equaliser as Arsenal snatch Palace draw
18/10/2021 AT 18:12