The 25-year-old Gabon international is hoping to follow the footsteps of his compatriot, who he regards as his idol
Saint-Etienne winger Denis Bouanga has described Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as his role model.
Aubameyang spent two years at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, where he made a significant impact before leaving for Borussia Dortmund.
The 30-year old striker was the Premier League joint top-scorer last season with 22 goals and has netted 14 times this campaign.
Bouanga has been a key member of Claude Puel’s men since teaming up with the Greens last summer, scoring seven Ligue 1 goals in 16 appearances.
The 25-year-old forward is looking to follow the path of his Gabonese teammate, who he referred to as his ‘idol.’
“We have known each other for a long time. He is from Laval and I am from Le Mans, two cities fairly close geographically,” he told the club website.
“The first time we met, I wondered if he knew me. For me, it was like an idol, but I didn’t know if he had ever heard of me. Not only did he welcome me, he even asked me to come with him.
“His career is incredible. He went through difficult times but when you see his career, you can only be admiring.
“I really realized his aura in Africa. I remember a friendly match in Mali: the Malians wanted a photo with him.
“He is still very attached to ASSE. He knows that his career really took off here. This is an example for me.”
Bouanga believes he has improved since playing his first game for the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard outfit against Dijon and promised to continue working hard.
“It’s a new level in my career. In Dijon, for my first game, I was not good. You have to know how to be honest with yourself and your performance,” he added.
“I had dreamed of other beginnings under this jersey. I persevered, like my match against Brest. I scored, but I missed. The goal is to progress as much as possible and help the team. You can only improve with work.”
Bouanga will hope to maintain his impressive form in front of goal when Saint-Etienne take on Bastia-Borgo in a Cup tie on January 5.