Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta denies rumors of split with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Mikel Arteta denies rumors of split with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after replacement at Old Trafford…

  • Aubameyang was replaced by Arsenal one goal behind Old Trafford
  • Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer said the substitution had ‘humiliated’ the striker
  • Experts suggested there must be a gap between Arteta and Aubameyang
  • Arsenal striker has struggled for form this season, scoring just four goals
  • Mikel Arteta insisted relations with Arsenal captain remain strong


Mikel Arteta has insisted there is no rift between him and Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Gabon striker has struggled for form this season with just four goals and was dragged from Manchester United mid-week as Arsenal were desperate for an equaliser.

Arteta’s decision sparked comments from pundits Alan Shearer and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry that there must be a problem between the pair and the humiliated player.

Mikel Arteta denied rumors of a split between him and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Arteta was quick to set the record straight as he prepared for Monday night’s crucial journey back to the Northwest and his former club Everton.

He said, ‘I can guarantee you that there will be no breakage. You have to respect their opinion (Henry and Shearer’s), but what I can tell you is that I have the relationship I want with him.

“When I make decisions with 15, 20, 30 minutes left, or in lineup at the start, I do it with one intention and that is to get the best out of the team.”

Pressured as he thought it was humiliating for Aubameyang to withdraw at such a crucial moment, he added: “That’s the last word I would use with my players because if that’s humiliation, imagine imagine what it’s like for those left out of the team.’

The Arsenal captain missed a glorious opportunity mid-week in Arsenal's 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford

The Arsenal captain missed a glorious opportunity mid-week in Arsenal’s 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford

The Gabon international was substituted shortly afterwards as Arsenal went on the hunt for the equalizer

The Gabon international was substituted shortly afterwards as Arsenal went on the hunt for the equalizer

Aubameyang won the Golden Boot in his first full season in the Premier League and landed a stellar contract after taking Arsenal to FA Cup glory.

Now his place is threatened by youngsters like Gabriel Martinelli. Arteta said: “Obviously he contributed to games in several ways. Unfortunately, he didn’t score as much as you would expect in terms of goals.

“You always worry when your main striker doesn’t score goals, but he does his best and he is aware how much we need him in the team to score the goals.

“At the moment they are not coming, but the rest of the things we ask him to do [are]. He’s trying his best.’

Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer said Aubameyang was humiliated by the substitution

Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer said Aubameyang was humiliated by the substitution

But Arteta insisted that his relationship with the Arsenal captain remains as good as ever

But Arteta insisted that his relationship with the Arsenal captain remains as good as ever

It would be a big call to drop Aubameyang in such an important game as Arsenal try to keep in touch with the battle for a top four finish.

But there’s an outside chance that enigmatic midfielder Granit Xhaka will be in the squad for the first time since he suffered an ankle injury in September’s win over Tottenham.

The Swiss international skipper was not expected until well into the new year. “This week he has come to another level,” Arteta said of Xhaka. “We’ll have a chat and decide when it’s best to give him some exposure.

Granit Xhaka could be in the squad for Monday's game against Everton for the first time since he sustained an ankle injury in September's win over Tottenham

Granit Xhaka could be in the squad for Monday’s game against Everton for the first time since he sustained an ankle injury in September’s win over Tottenham

“It will be a great boost to have him back. We miss him. He is one of our leaders.”

Arteta spared Everton boss Rafael Benitez who was under pressure amid a poor run of results and rumors of a fan running away during the match.

Arteta said, “He knows much better than me how to handle situations like this.

“I don’t have to message their fans about what to do. We know the qualities he has.’

Advertisement


.