Mikel Arteta’s latest worry suggests Arsenal haven’t learnt from Mesut Ozil debacle


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was stripped of the captaincy by manager Mikel Arteta last week and the striker has missed Arsenal’s last two Premier League fixtures

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Arteta quizzed about Aubameyang as Arsenal defeat West Ham

Arsenal are reportedly concerned they’ve devalued Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s worth by stripping him of the captaincy.

The striker was also left out of Mikel Arteta’s squad for the recent games against Southampton and West Ham after breaking the rules.

Arsenal’s factitious relationship with Aubameyang is all too reminiscent of Mesut Ozil’s turbulent departure.

The Gabon international is the club’s highest paid player, earning a reported £350,000-a-week at the Emirates.

But with 18 months remaining on his contract and his 33rd birthday approaching in June, few clubs will be willing to match his current salary – especially after disciplinary action.

Should Mikel Arteta reintegrate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang into the Arsenal first-team? Let us know in the comments below!

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Arsenal future is in doubt after losing the captaincy
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And, according to the Daily Mail, the Gunners are concerned publicising the spat will have put clubs off signing him.

Arsenal are said to be worried about being “hard-balled” by potential suitors, which could see them cover a chunk of his hefty wages if he’s to leave.

Barcelona are believed to be interested in Aubameyang, although their first-choice target is Manchester City ace Ferran Torres.

The Catalan giants are also reportedly keen on Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, who has expressed his desire to leave Old Trafford.

There’s no doubting Aubameyang’s quality. He’s won trophies in England, Germany and France and countless accolades – including the prestigious Bundesliga Player of the Year award.

But paying a transfer fee and huge wages for a veteran is just too big of a gamble in the Covid era. The Gunners have lost their bargaining power.

It’s remarkable how Arsenal find themselves in this situation again, just nine months after Ozil’s six-and-a-half-year spell at the Emirates came to an end.

Like Aubameyang, the Germany international was over 30, on more than £300,000-a-week and out of favour with Arteta, not featuring during his last nine months at the club.

The Gunners didn’t get a transfer fee for Ozil and were lucky he agreed to leave the club before his contract was up, reportedly foregoing part of the £7million Arsenal owed him. A lot of players wouldn’t have been so generous.

It appears Arsenal haven’t learnt from their mistakes, but what’s the solution?

Many believe they’ve paid the likes of Ozil and Aubameyang too much, although most top European clubs have ageing players on big deals.

Mesut Ozil was frozen out by Mikel Arteta last season
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Kevin De Bruyne, David de Gea and Cristiano Ronaldo – for example – are all in their thirties and earning more than £375,000-a-week.

Arsenal must pay the going rate if they want the best. The only alternative to not giving Ozil and Aubameyang their respective deals was letting them go.

But when the Gunners do hand out a big contract, they need to make sure the recipient is part of the manager’s plans for the next three, four years.

Few clubs can afford to shove their highest paid player in the reserves, especially ones that aren’t competing in the Champions League.

As for Aubameyang’s future, leaving him out in the cold is not doing anyone any favours. The sensible solution is to have him scoring goals, even if it’s just to attract a potential suitor.

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